The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Design & Branding 9/11 MEMORIAL by Landor New York


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Industry Museums & Libraries
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Landor New York
Associate Creative Director Craig Dobie
Executive Creative Director Richard Ford
Released September 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Large Scale Corporate Identity Schemes
Product/Service: 9/11 MEMORIAL
Date of First Appearance: Sep 1 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: LANDOR ASSOCIATES, New York, USA
Associate Design Director: Rietje Gieskes (Landor Associates)
Associate Creative Director: Craig Dobie (Landor Associates)
Naming & Writing Manager: Christian Turner (Landor Associates)
Client Associate: Jenna Hurwitz (Landor Associates)
Executive Creative Director: Richard Ford (Landor Associates)
Executive Director, Corporate Branding: Carin Van Vuuren (Landor Associates)
Media placement: Logo - 9/11 Memorial Preview Site - 1 September 2009
Media placement: Lapel Pins - 9/11 Memorial Preview Site - 1 September 2009
Media placement: Wristbands - 9/11 Memorial Preview Site - 1 September 2009
Media placement: T-Shirts - 9/11 Memorial Preview Site - 1 September 2009
Media placement: Business Cards - 9/11 Memorial - 16 March 2010
Describe the challenges and key objectives
As the nonprofit organisation responsible for the design, operations, programming, and fundraising for the Memorial and Museum that is currently under construction at the World Trade Center site, the organisation struggled with how they would offer a consistent experience to the thousands of visitors who tour the site each day. Another challenge they faced was creating a fundraising and merchandising program. How would they sell tasteful, respectful products and memorabilia of an event which represents lost and impacts us all in different ways? From there, the creative challenge for us was clear: how do we depict the presence of absence?
Describe the brief from the client
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center approached us to create an identity that would make the memorial accessible and stand as a symbol of strength. We were asked to develop a new, shorthand name and visual identity. The organisation realised that their full, legal name was too long and unwieldy for most applications; leading to inconsistent use and public confusion. With the name change came the need to create a new visual identity. The organisation desired a visual identity that would be bold in color and font, and would reinforce the spirit of rebuilding.
Describe how you arrived at the final design
We created a new 9/11 Memorial identity that is effective in its simplicity. This idea was the guiding principle of or work and informed the type style, weight, colour, and arrangement. Finding a balance between a compelling visual style and the proper tone and mood for the memorial was important. The bespoke typography is modern yet timeless, and the eleven is crafted from two austere blue rectangles that reference the shapes missing from the New York City skyline. Combining the date with the building silhouettes creates an essential connection in people’s minds. We believe our solution is also elegant: a characteristic required by a historical institution whose role is remembrance, education and progression.
Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The new identity continues to receive positive reviews from leading blogs and publications, including Brand New, Identityworks, Album Spin, Time Out New York, and many others. Most recently, internationally acclaimed graphic designer, David Airey featured it as one of the top identities of 2009 and New York based hip-hop artist and rapper, Jay-Z, featured the new identity in his latest music video, "Empire State of Mind" appearing on MTV and VH1 Networks.