How does a brand identity become a force for growth?

The Kennedy Center engaged IA Collaborative to evolve its identity as the nation’s premier cultural arts institution, as a living monument to former President John F. Kennedy, and as a contribution to the human spirit through performance, art, and community. The IA team was challenged with capturing the Kennedy Center in all its complexity, with 3,000 performances in a calendar year, programs ranging from the American ballet to LL Cool J to the National Symphony Orchestra to Jay Leno, and over two million audience members annually. This work was about much more than creating a new logo for the organization. It was an opportunity to incapsulate an iconic visual identity and singular brand voice, leading to new opportunities for innovation and expansion, and propelling the Center into the next 100 years as the global leader in performing arts.

1 / Propelling Growth and Scale

The release of the Kennedy Center’s new identity equipped its leaders with tools to launch scalable, strategic marketing initiatives and created efficiencies in creative direction as the organization continues to expand its physical and digital presence. As part of the post-launch relationship, IA Collaborative actively consults on new initiatives in merchandising, exploratory business strategies, and campaigns to help the Kennedy Center continue to drive the future of the arts.

2 / The Art Inside

To create an identity authentic to such a complex and culturally significant institution, we activated a large network of stakeholders to collect and synthesize a truly remarkable brand essence. Through research and design methodologies, the team parsed out key identifiers of the brand, using the Kennedy Center’s mission statement as a launching point to design and define the system. This highly-collaborative process led to an iconic logo that embodies everything that makes the Kennedy Center a national treasure. A sense of movement, monumental architecture and modern timelessness epitomize this icon, while the art that lives inside it truly brings the brand to life.

3 / Activating the Brand Architecture

Key to the success of this project was proving that this identity system could and would apply across many applications, represent diverse performance types, and be customized to the Kennedy Center’s sub-brands. Creating a powerful brand architecture that considered digital, print, experiential, architectural, and commercial application allowed the brand to flex in a standarized and cohesive manner. More so, as the Center continues to expand its physical presence and international influence, this new creative vision will help pave the way for a greater focus on innovation and experience.

4 / An Innovative Collaboration

In order to create an identity system that would be a force for growth, our team developed an innovative collaboration model to involve the Kennedy Center at every step of the process. By iterating on concepts together, sharing files in real time, and actively collaborating with the client through the entirety of the project, we were able to develop a process that felt both personal and highly productive, leading to a creative vision that left stakeholders feeling inspired and energized by the future of their brand.

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