Contributed by Bobby Martin of New York-based OCD.
During construction, the Museum for African Art (MFAA) wanted to conceal the work in progress, while teasing what’s to come and allowing full access to the public space near Duke Ellington Circle, as well as preserve the views of the park from the interior. Even under construction, the sight line from the second floor to the Harlem Meer was not to be missed.
Robert A. M. Stern developed a window pattern based on African textiles and domiciles. To conceal without concealing, OCD layered on a second, third and fourth application of African patterning. These were translated into the MFAA brand colors and modernized a bit. The effect is a peek-a-boo teaser that lets the light shine in and out.
The AfriSans typeface is the core of the MFAA identity system. Inspired by the building’s architecture, each letterform locks into the figures around it. To build a fully integrated system, every letterform had to be drawn and programmed twice: opening up and opening down. Each headline makes a uniquely Museum for African Art tesselating statement.
Fall Benefit & Silent Auction, invitation system
Capital Campaign, customisable consistency
Design: Jennifer Kinon, Bobby C. Martin Jr.
Typography: Jesse Ragan
Photography: Ari Burling
Visit the Museum for African Art website.