KNOXVILLE – In honor of its 25th anniversary and refurbishment of the Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed facility, the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) engaged brand communications firm Ferebee Lane + Co to create a new visual identity for the museum. Ferebee Lane, based in Greenville, South Carolina, worked closely with the museum’s board of trustees, Executive Director David Butler, and staff to help clarify the KMA’s distinctive qualities and convey its position as a vibrant regional art museum.
Following numerous working sessions and interviews conducted on site, the agency initiated the development of a comprehensive new brand rolled out in spring 2014, coinciding with the debut of a major commission by Richard Jolley for the KMA. Ferebee Lane’s central inspiration was sparked by the place-driven point of view expressed during conversations with the stake-holders and the strong sense of place evident in the museum’s collection.
“For the KMA’s various audiences, we realized that the museum is about much more than just the art of East Tennessee,” noted agency principal Matt Ferebee. “The KMA is about an artistic view of the world from East Tennessee. By exhibiting the region’s art and artists, the museum presents unique vantage points and perspectives of this singular landscape.”
That insight was the catalyst for the brand’s elements including final design, palette, and typography. The new logo features overlapping angular solids that form a rotated letter K while also, in this modified orientation, evoking a quintessential East Tennessee scene—a valley view through the Smoky Mountains. The brand’s palette is similarly rooted in the region, with tones and hues that recall the striking beauty of the area. A soft “smoky” gray complements a bold pink inspired by locally quarried pink marble that clads the museum building. Contemporary, humanistic typography was selected to round out the identity’s elegant yet approachable sensibility.
“The new visual identity is simultaneously fresh, thought-provoking, and current. And that’s exactly what we are as an institution: a vital community asset that engages people in and beyond East Tennessee about what it means to see the world from this special place. We’re thrilled by how our new brand communicates that message. It was a fascinating process, and we are grateful to Matt and his team for approaching the project with such profound sensitivity, creativity, and inclusivity,” said David Butler.
The Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit www.knoxart.org.