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Portland Museum of Art in Maine launches new brand
A collaboration between Museum staff, Garrand, Murphy Empire Design, and TypeCulture, this visual identity presents a unique blend of the traditional and the contemporary.



PORTLAND, ME.- The Portland Museum of Art premiered a new brand. A collaboration between Museum staff, Garrand, Murphy Empire Design, and TypeCulture, this visual identity presents a unique blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

The brand anticipates an exciting new chapter in the Museum’s history with the opening of the Winslow Homer Studio in September. It speaks to the Museum’s vision of the future, while honoring Maine’s rich cultural history. The crisp, clean red arch and circle are contemporary and evocative of the iconic architectural presence of the Museum’s Charles Shipman Payson Building, while at the same time acknowledging the historic red brick facades prevalent in 19th-century Portland. The letters “PMA” within the circle add new energy to “Portland Museum of Art,” yet are reminiscent of traditional block-lettered signs painted on buildings, and echo iconic symbols that have become part of the nation’s visual lexicon during the past century.

“The new brand takes into consideration the post-modern I. M. Pei-designed building, the iconic public face of the Museum, and brings it to the next level of contemporary design,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “It has been inspiring to work with Maine designers who really understand the Museum and our community.”

Garrand is a full-service Maine-based communications agency. Brenda Garrand, President, brought her 25 years of creative marketing and communications experience and trade-marked Golden Threads process to the table to develop the brand. “The Portland Museum of Art is an exceptional institution not only representing Maine and American art history, but a key participant in contemporary issues of national and international concern,” said Brenda Garrand. “The Museum serves as an inspiration and a rich resource for both our local community and for the northeast.”

Ken Murphy, of Murphy Empire Design and a graduate of Maine College of Art, has more than a decade of design experience working with Portland businesses. “As a local designer, I consider this a perfect opportunity to show my admiration for such an important institution,” said Ken Murphy. “The Museum is evolving, and must maintain the integrity of its historical foundation, but with an identity that reflects both old and new aspects. I appreciate the involvement of local designers on this project, and have enjoyed greatly the collaborative efforts put forth during the process.”

Mark Jamra of TypeCulture, an independent digital type foundry in Portland, designed the award-winning Expo family of fonts used in the new brand. Jamra is a veteran type designer, graphic designer, and Associate Professor at Maine College of Art. “Expo Serif contains warmth, character, and versatility in a classic typeface design,” said Mark Jamra. “Expo Sans is distinctive and legible with multiple weights and styles. They combine easily to provide options for developing a typographic system that communicates the blend of classic, time-honored tradition and unique, contemporary qualities the Museum will evoke with a new brand.”











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