We’re at that spot right now where the exhibit continues, but my portion of it is stalled. It’s in the hands of others, so here I sit, not really able to move forward, but still laying the groundwork for the exhibit when it finally gets off the ground.
I’m working on developing the Flier brand for this exhibit, which isn’t as commercial as that sounds. All a brand is really, is a standard of presentation. Most companies, universities, schools, professional organizations, use brands which include a color palette, certain fonts to use, official insignias, letterhead, and anything else desired. The idea is that everything associated with that “brand” is all tied together and looks uniform and well designed. This is especially important in organizations like museums or universities where more than one department might independently develop brochures or websites for their areas separately from the “official” advertising department.
When you see the same thing over and over, you start to recognize it. When people see a big gold block “M” on a dark blue background, you automatically recognize the University of Michigan. A green squarish “S” with on a white background is Michigan State University. No need for thinking, no need for trying to remember where you last saw that. It’s been presented over and over again until you recognize these two organizations with a glance. That is good branding. And I’ll guarantee, that both these universities have standards that say precisely WHICH shades of blue, gold, green and white (yes, there are multiple different “shades” of white just as there are black) that those are, and which fonts to use in a brochure, how those symbols are to be presented and how they are not.
They don’t, unfortunately, tell you how to have a peaceable home during the Michigan/Michigan State game.
So I’m working on developing the overall look and color palette for the Flier materials, which will be used in letterhead, promotional materials, the exhibit itself, ect. I did a large one for the exhibit hall, so this has to be related, but distinct. It’s not hard, but it is tricky. It has to look “naval”, all the colors have to work with all the others so any of them can be used with any of the others, the fonts have to be interesting, clear, and able to work well at 6 points tall as well as six inches (or six feet). I think I played with some 60 shades of gray for the last palette before choosing two.
Just a simple chore, but if I do it now, it’s set for later when I can start. I am playing with a palette that’s primarily dark blue, blue-black and silver gray as the base, so we’ll see. It’s a little dark, so I have to pick some lighter colors to offset that, or everyone will need Prozac before leaving the exhibit!
In partnership with the Bowfin, we’re also working on tracking down the surviving family members of the Flier and the Flier Survivors. If you are one and happen to read this, please contact me at ussflierproject.com or Charles Hinman at info.ussflier.com. We’re working on a rather large project I hope to announce soon.