At the end of September we Noted the new logo for Mural Arts Philadelphia by J2 Design and it received a highly positive response, not so much in the poll, but in the comments, including polite demands for more applications, which brings us to today’s post: Applications!
A quick reminder of the logo change and my original opinion of it (more for reference than for the pleasure of hearing my own voice): “There is something so simple, effective, and energetic about the vectorized graffiti stroke ‘M’ that makes it instantly evocative. I love that it can be rotated 180 degrees and it reads the exact same way. It has the right angle, the right spacing, the right abstraction… just, very right.”
Here is an interesting point of discussion: how come the variations for Mural Arts feel and look so good and appropriate but the variations for Pandora did not feel nor look so good, even though it’s arguably the same concept and approach? The question is somewhat rhetorical as the variations for Mural Arts feel more genuine and relevant, further establishing a link between the variety of artists and styles that the organization collaborates with and, although you could say the same thing about Pandora, the link they are trying to establish is more abstract by attempting to give a visual representation to different music genres and it feels more like a veneer rather than an integral part of the project. Anyway… back to Mural Arts…
The “corporate” applications are quite restrained and do a great job in making sure the identity doesn’t turn too cartoonish by using the logo variations on, for example, the business cards. (By the way, those are some dense information business cards!). The combination of the logo broken apart, the blocks of typography, the fields of color, and the mural artwork in the backgrounds strike a strong balance of all those elements and yield very convincing brochures.
For Mural Arts Month — and possibly for other events and initiatives — there is a nice introduction of a serif that in other cases would be far too many things but here, and not to keep adding praise for praise’s sake, it’s the right dose and right way of mixing the ingredients.
The event photos clearly capture that both the organization and the design firm are proud of the work. Producing a small sculpture, hats, pins — those pins! — and setting up that whole wall with the process was probably unnecessary but it’s the kind of things that, when done genuinely, can help existing and potential audiences feel a stronger connection to the organization.