Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) is a leader among academic museums, cultivating inquiry and reflection by connecting people to art, ideas, and each other. Approaching its centennial anniversary and armed with a new strategic plan, the Museum was poised to take its work to the next level—to be more welcoming, relevant, and widely accessible. In order to fully realize this potential, SCMA engaged Minelli to create a new brand and website, as well as visual and verbal tools.
Minelli led a deep discovery process that included a review of strategic planning reports, interviews with stakeholders, and a survey of members, students, visitors, and alumni. This discovery process uncovered an interesting tension between the museum’s roles of academic art museum and cultural resource. This tension became central to the new SCMA brand, celebrated in the brand idea: “Where art and ideas collide.”
The new visual identity is informed by the brand idea. It is open, accessible, savvy, inclusive, and dynamic. The new SCMA logo visualizes the dynamism of the brand. Creative tensions are represented by a slash that cuts through the letters, creating two parts that meet at the ‘edge’. Strong and declarative, the logo sits boldly on printed and digital media, often creating further tension with the edge of an image or boundary of the page.