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Our assignment was to help the Indianapolis Museum of Art increase traffic and revenue in an era where all art museums are struggling to remain relevant.
An expansion of the museum’s offering beyond the gallery walls to the 152 acres surrounding it, and a whole new brand. The museum is now part of “Newfields”—a 152-acre campus containing gardens, woodlands, wetlands, waterways, an early 20th-century mansion and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected encyclopedic art museums. For Newfields (a name that builds upon the mansion’s name, “Oldfields,” and connotes steady evolution and reinvention), we developed a branding system based on a “prism N” logo, a dynamic framing device through which the various activities happening in and around the museum—both organized and spontaneous—can be featured. Expanding the museum’s offering from “art” to “art plus nature, food & drink, performance and more” attracts visitors who wouldn’t typically remember to come visit the museum. Also, promising a variety of ongoing, regular, unexpected and delightful activities year-round on top of the ongoing excellence of the permanent collection and seasonal exhibits of the Indianapolis Museum of Art makes a casual visitor more likely to sign up to become a member.
Drawing the attention of museums across the globe faced with the same challenge—attracting new people and increasing revenue—this rebranding recently resulted in a traffic increase of 400% year over year (due in large part to an event created to “kick off” the new identity). Also, the initiative has caught the attention of the art world, which is very interested to see how this rebranding works to increase the relevance and revenue of a well-respected art museum, and this new entity, “Newfields,” has received high-profile coverage by news sources ranging from industry-specific publications to The New York Times.