In size and ambition, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the biggest museum of its kind ever created from the ground up. Opened in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011, the Museum had fundamental decisions to make about its market position and brand identity. Working with Museum leadership, our strategy team helped Crystal Bridges determine the kind of museum it wanted to be, how to announce itself, and how to generate excitement locally and across the nation.
Through stakeholder interviews, audience research, and mission and vision workshops, our strategy team worked with the Museum to develop the Museum’s desired brand positioning and messaging, centered on its most compelling offering: a unique blend of art, architecture, and landscape.
For the logo, we integrated three shapes — inspired by the elegant, organic form of Mosche Safdie’s design for the Museum — to symbolize the three key elements of architecture, art, and nature.
To help Crystal Bridges maintain and develop its brand over time, we provided comprehensive design guidelines for a range of communications and marketing materials. For the Museum’s opening campaign, we featured dramatic shots of the building in its natural landscape juxtaposed with bold language.
The Museum opened to the public November 11, 2011, to an extremely positive reception—and has observed attendance exceeding 1 million visitors since then.