The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is a Jacksonville staple with a legacy over one-hundred years strong. With its lush gardens, renowned art collection, and dedicated education programs, the museum is a cultural pillar for the city. When it came time to give them a rebrand, it was no small task to create a new identity for an institution so cherished.
The Cummer Museum has a sculpture in its garden called “Sea of the Earrings” by Takashi Soga. Love it or hate it, Jacksonville residents have been talking about this sculpture for years because its contemporary nature is juxtaposed against the museum’s classical architecture. When I began connecting the logo alongside my colleagues at Wingard Creative, I was immediately drawn to the shape of the red rings.
It seemed natural to see a “c” in the iconic sculpture, and while initial concepts had more of a 3D element, I settled upon a flat approach in the final design. Here, the shape of the sculpture is implied, keeping the nod subtle. The red color is carried throughout the brand in prominent tabs and floods of color. We wanted to create a brand that was bold, modern, sleek, and forward-thinking. It was important to consider an aesthetic that would be timeless.
It was also important for the brand to be versatile. When designing for an art museum, we have to take into account that some exhibitions have limitations when it comes to photography. For instance, some exhibitions do not allow the cropping or concealing of the art while others do. It was important for the brand to be able to function in both contexts.
To kick the rebrand off with a bang, we created a rollout campaign to introduce the new identity to the public. These designs featured dreamy photography of the museum campus with impactful headlines utilizing the “c”. The concepts focused on action verbs inviting the public to explore the museum, such as “Discover”, “Create”, and “Experience”.
The rebrand stretched into other exciting areas such as signage and merchandise. Signage was mocked up and produced in acrylic for the parking area, school tours entrance, front lobby area, Cummer Cafe, and Cummer Shop.
A Robust Resource
The website offers not only detailed information on the museum and its exhibits, but a comprehensive database of the Cummer Museum’s permanent art collection. The development and copywriting teams had a massive job on their hands constructing an incredible number of pages for the website, and they executed beautifully. The site is clean and easy to navigate with helpful interactive elements such as sub-navigation that reflects your position on the page. The featured images on the homepage also shuffle and filter depending on what kind of experience the viewer is searching for.