In this project for the University of Oklahoma’s Gibbs College of Architecture, I was tasked with designing the branding and exhibition signage for Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture, an exhibition created by the Gibbs College of Architecture for the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
The challenge was to create an identity system with a boldness
appropriate to the American School’s history of radical pedagogy and practice, but one that would not compete with the works present in the exhibition. Additionally, it would need to be flexible, able to meet the needs of the many different types of signage needed for the exhibition space.
In developing the brand for the show, I was asked by Michael Hoffner, the exhibition designer, to work with the Franklin Gothic typeface family for its clean, bold, and American qualities (appropriate for the American School). From this starting point I began to develop a wordmark and brand system; something clean and neutral, so as to not conflict with the sometimes eccentric work displayed in the show, but also bold and striking, to harmonize with the radical pedagogy developed by Bruce Goff and
The result of this was a strong white-on-black palette for both the branding and signage, with sparing use of one of the more striking and abstract black & white drawings from the show itself as a background element.
Right: John Hurtig, Sketches: A Cathedral for the Religion of Architecture, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (Reproductions), 1956–57. Norman Froelich, John Hurtig, and James Gardner Collection, American School Archive, University of Oklahoma Libraries.
The next step of the process was to develop this out into a consistent, effective, and flexible set of guidelines for signage pieces in the exhibition, and to develop the signage itself. I was responsible for the design and execution of all major signage, and for specifying the design for repeated elements like item labels that would then be built out in full by other members of the exhibition team.
Top left: Intro didactic panel
Top right: Station text + item labels
Middle top: Section panel
Middle bottom: Item label
The following are a selection of photos from the exhibition space,
showing the signage in context.