Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Refreshes Brand

by CoVaBizMag

From a press release by The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, a cornerstone of the arts in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads for the past 60 years, is refreshing its brand with a new logo, website and updated mission and vision statements. Upon being accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 2010, the then Contemporary Art Center of Virginia was re-branded the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and referred to as MOCA.

“The identity established a decade ago has served us very well,” said Director & CEO, Gary Ryan. “Now as an established non-collecting contemporary art museum with a growing regional and national reputation, we saw an opportunity to emphasize the museum’s commitment to excellence and felt it was time to evolve the brand to meet this profile – an important intention of our strategic plan.”

Ryan worked closely with the museum Board of Trustees to identify the best partner for this critical step in the institution’s evolution. After a months-long search process, the museum chose to work with Shavrick & Partners, a distinguished agency known for its strategic horsepower and executional prowess, particularly in the digital space. The Connecticut-based design consultants have created brand experiences for Staples, New York Life, Park Avenue Synagogue, The Bronx Zoo, and the NBA among others.

The Shavrick & Partners team led a rigorous brand audit process including dozens of stakeholder interviews, a primary and secondary research review, and a deep dive into the websites and brands of close to 100 museums from across the country. From this process, several key insights emerged which in turn guided the brand refresh. The foundation of the refresh is a refined mission statement that captures both what Virginia MOCA is today as well as where it plans to focus in the future.

The new mission reads, “Virginia MOCA presents ever-changing exhibitions where neighbors, strangers, students, families, communities, and cultures are invited to explore our shared humanity, through locally relevant and nationally resonant, contemporary art that’s exceptional—in all of its timeliness, restlessness, and beauty.”

The new brand identity embraces the idea that as a non-collecting contemporary art museum, Virginia MOCA is at the nexus of art, place and community. Built from an intersecting V and M, the new “ribbon” icon represents the connections and infinite possibilities that lie within these intersections.

So as not to compete with the art being showcased, the logo and typography appear in black and white. When color is used, it’s drawn from paintings or sculptures. Even the typeface, GT Flexa, was chosen for its ability to (literally) expand and contract to meet the needs of the artwork it’s supporting.

“What’s special about Virginia MOCA is its sense of place and pride in its community. It was an honor and privilege to work with the inspiring team at Virginia MOCA. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our year-long effort,” said David Shavrick, Founder of Shavrick & Partners.

“The museum is incredibly fortunate and thankful to have found such smart, thoughtful, and dedicated partners in David Shavrick and his team,” added Ryan. “They truly went above and beyond to ensure that the museum is positioned to realize its full potential and no longer be considered a hidden gem. We are incredibly grateful for all the Shavrick team has put into this work to ensure our success.”

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