Atlanta—September 15, 2015—Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta Contemporary) announces the launch of its new website, atlantacontemporary.org, and new design and support collateral as part of its institutional rebranding strategy. 

At the beginning of 2015, an institutional redesign strategy was launched by NYC-based design firm Familiar. Atlanta Contemporary hired Familiar to work on a suite of new communications materials to coincide with the launch of its free admission policy, which began on September 1, 2015. For eight months, Familiar has engaged Atlanta Contemporary in an ongoing collaboration that has culminated in the launch of a new identity and website, as well as signage, wayfinding, and collateral materials for the 42 year-old institution.
Rebranded Design Strategy and Collateral

Familiar’s first task was to embark on an extensive research process examining how other arts institutions of a similar scale and focus approached branding, messaging, technology and community engagement. In addition to examining the wider institutional landscape, they conducted extensive interviews with active members of the Atlanta arts community and key players across the institution’s rich history. Throughout the process they learned a great deal about a vital arts organization that has grown and shifted with the changing landscape of Atlanta’s creative communities and expanding population.
After reviewing Atlanta Contemporary’s institutional goals and reviewing research findings, Familiar set out to create a brand that would exemplify friendliness, clarity and dynamism while standing out as an authority in the both the Atlanta cultural scene and a player in the broader institutional art landscape.
Familiar’s first task involved focusing the brand by suggesting a clarification of the name from “Atlanta Contemporary Art Center” or “ACAC” to simply “Atlanta Contemporary”. By moving from a long name that was frequently shortened to an often misspelled acronym to a simple and commonly understood moniker, they aimed to both connect the institution to a larger community of ICAs (or Institutes of Contemporary Arts) across the country without the risk of alienating existing visitors and supporters. 

The design language for the new Atlanta Contemporary brand was greatly inspired by the design experimentation so vividly championed by Nexus Press as well as the eclectic architecture of Atlanta Contemporary’s campus (a group of buildings previously dedicated to a variety of manufacturing and transportation related businesses). At the core of the new identity is a variegated wordmark that was created by cutting apart letterforms to create a “duotone” typeface that feels both playful and iconic. ###strong/strong###
A New Website: atlantacontemporary.org

After creating a suite of printed collateral and signage for Atlanta Contemporary, Familiar set their sights on translating their work to the new websiteatlantacontemporary.org
The main goal with the new website was to create a unique and playful experience while remaining focused on welcoming visitors and inviting them to engage and visit Atlanta Contemporary in-person. Working from the knowledge that at least half of all visitors will be visiting the site from a mobile device, Familiar designed a site that not only looks good on mobile devices, but considers the mobile visitor’s experience and device viewport and responds accordingly.
As Atlanta Contemporary focuses on 5-10 exhibitions per year, Familiar considered both how new and repeat visitors experience the visual documentation of exhibitions and artworks at Atlanta Contemporary throughout the duration of an exhibition. A highlight of the new site that creates new dimensionality and delight is an image view that layers artwork and installation shots on the website: Familiar settled on a virtual “light table” experience ###strong/strong###: dragging them around, zooming in on a single image, and manipulating them.
A New Support Model

Familiar’s work with Atlanta Contemporary coincided with an important shift in the organization’s financial structure to a free admission policy.Consequently, it was important that the design decisions considered how best to facilitate the continued financial support of a community of generous art lovers. 

With the new free admission policy, support is framed as a tiered annual donation that offers additional visitor benefits with higher levels of donation. With this in mind, Familiar helped shape the creation of a new earned level of support called Contemporary+ ###/strongstrong###From Familiar: “We look forward to continuing our work with Atlanta Contemporary both online and off. Our second phase of the project will include an expansion of the historical content featured on the site in a new section called: “Archive”. This section will encompass the history of institution including: past exhibitions, an in-depth look at Nexus Press and an index of the many artists and creative individuals who have contributed to the organization over the decades. In addition to the archive, we will be adding an online shop, further enhancements to existing sections of the site as well as working to help extend the brand across additional printed collateral."
About Atlanta Contemporary
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is a non-profit, non-collecting institution dedicated to the creation, presentation, and advancement of contemporary art by emerging and established artists. Atlanta Contemporary creates a diverse cultural landscape for artists, arts professionals, and the art-interested public through its exhibitions, educational programming, and studio artist program. Visit 
www.thecontemporary.org to learn more.


For more information, contact Rachel Reese, communications manager: 404.688.1970 x 216, or [email protected].

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