MCA Chicago Debuts New Visual Identity
Branding is everything according to advertising agencies, digital marketers and public relations gurus. Now, art professionals can be added to this list since the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA)recently announced the launch of its new visual identity perthe design studio Mevis & Van Deursen (MVD).
Thanks to MCA Chief Content Officer Susan Chun and Design Director Dylan Fracareta, the museum’s new visual branding will be used in print (publications, signage and other collateral) as well as on digital media platforms including MCA’s redesigned website at mcachicago.org.
“We are launching a new version of our website that we will continue to grow and refine,” explains Chun.“The new site makes public the creative process not just of artists, in keeping with our vision of being artist-activated, but also our collaborators and staff. Our creative team sees the site as an opportunity to engage online visitors in discussion, much as we do onsite.”
“The MCA website is on the forefront of art museums offering digital assets to visitors with sight impairment,” notes Sina Bahram, President of Prime Access Consulting. “In terms of universal design, the team’s unparalleled commitment exceeds the suggested standards with many new initiatives planned for the future.”
Of the newly-created design and typeface which uses squares to artistically form letters, Fracareta adds,“With the grid being scalable and flexible, it can evolve and change over time, and forms a welcoming and accessible field on which to tell the multidisciplinary stories about contemporary art and artists.”
Every month, the Collection section of the website will profile new artwork. In addition to offering key information on current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, collections, museum merchandise and other online resources, the MCA’s newly enhanced website will include handy floorplans, installation photos, animation and downloadable interpretive content.
The improved website is among the new initiatives offered by MCA to become more accessible. As such, visitors with screen-readers can use a keyboard to navigate the site, access audio and video guides, and listen to descriptions of images in the museum’s collection.
MCA also pioneered an open source platform called Coyote to create and manage visual descriptions of images for the visually impaired. This platform will be made available to other museums and institutions worldwide to use with their digital interfaces—proving branding is not everything after all. Branding—with accessibility—is.