Blanton Museum of Art

Your city. Your art. Your museum.

When Artistic Mediums Collide

As the premier gallery in Austin’s rapidly growing art scene, The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin has amassed nearly 18,000 works in its carefully curated collection. The Blanton’s vast expression of artwork ranges from ancient Greek pottery and European paintings to modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, making it the largest and most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas.

In our decade long relationship with the Blanton, the affiliation has evolved from designing all of their exhibition, donor, education and development collateral to supplementing design work for special events such as their annual gala. Working with the Blanton, provides an opportunity to bolster creativity through our own artistic discipline of design.

Event Branding & Collateral Design

2019 Blanton Gala

The 2019 Blanton Gala celebrated the opening of Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton. Inspired by the typographical patterns of Carlos Amorales, we incorporated visual and physical movement into all aspects of design for the gala such as invitations, programs, and event signage.

This black-tie dinner took place in an elegantly decorated tent on the museum’s plaza, in perfect view of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin and the Texas State Capitol. Gala guests were the first to see the groundbreaking exhibition that highlights the Blanton’s historic commitment to Latin American art.

Highlights & Technical Features

The Art of Scanomation

To align with the featured exhibition, Words/Matter, we focused on how words and letters are expressed and viewed. Our objective was to fully immerse those invited in an interactive manner. Our design solution incorporated a 2D animation technique called scanomation.

Scanomation is a technique that condenses multi-frame animations onto a single sheet of paper by a process of superimposition and selective interference. It’s most successful when there are two highly contrasting colors such as black and white and precision is key. One mathematically incorrect shift of a line or space would disrupt the balance of the entire piece.

Two different scanomations were created for the gala’s main invitation suite and other collateral items as displayed above.

“How do you use typography to produce materials for an exhibition that predominantly features typographic illusions and manipulations? The challenge we solved was designing a solution that honored the concepts presented in Words/Matter without infringing upon them.”

Kristen Napoleon, Design Director

Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin

A Cornerstone of the Blanton’s Permanent Collection

In January 2015, the acclaimed American artist, Ellsworth Kelly, presented the Blanton with the design concept for his most monumental work—a 2,715-square-foot stone building with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black and white marble panels.

Titled Austin, the structure is the only building the artist designed, quickly becoming his most lasting legacy. Kelly envisioned the space to be a site for joy and serenity where visitors from around the world could gather in quiet contemplation.

With the grand opening event being comprised of three separate celebrations (an Exclusive Preview Luncheon, a Formal Dinner, and a Festive Art World Party), the invitation suite and complementary collateral was able to highlight multiple facets of Austin.

“For this design, we featured Austin’s stained glass windows in order to pay homage to the late Ellsworth Kelly & his final masterpiece. With three key events, serendipitously, we were able to showcase each set of stained glass windows individually.”

Chris Visit, Principal

Event Branding & Collateral Design

2017 Blanton Gala

On February 11, 2017 the Blanton Museum of Art hosted its annual gala, honoring Jeanne and Michael L. Klein and celebrating the reopening of the museum’s reinstalled permanent collection galleries. This historic evening celebrated the unveiling of the museum’s renovated and reinstalled permanent collection galleries.

The collateral we designed featured a cobalt blue and gold geometric pattern, which shaped the overall look and feel of the event.

Floral Design by Mandarin Design Lab
Settings by Premiere Events

“The floral designers and gala event team were so inspired by the geometric pattern we designed that they carried it through to the floral installations, dinner chairs, bar facade and even the dress of the guest opera singer. This not only made the gala event feel cohesive, but also wowed the donors in attendance.”

Kristen Napoleon, Design Director

Event Branding & Collateral Design

2017 Art on the Edge

In 2017, Art on the Edge, the sister event to the Blanton Gala, celebrated the reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection. The renovated and reconfigured upstairs galleries featured nearly twice as many works and offered visitors a dynamic new Blanton experience.

Frank & Victor re-envisioned the design of the 2017 Gala Collateral to appeal to a younger and fresher crowd by deconstructing the cobalt blue and gold geometric pattern into free-floating triangles. In addition to the cobalt blue, the color palette was updated to include the energetic tones of cyan & magenta.

Floral Design by Mandarin Design Lab

“Art on the Edge is the younger, hipper counterpart to the 2017 Gala. We added a youthful feel by incorporating vibrant colors and activating the triangle pattern used in 2017 Gala materials.”

Kristen Napoleon, Design Director

Other Materials

From Magazines to Rack Cards & Banners

Our initial engagement with the Blanton began with the publication design of their seasonal membership magazine, Articulate. As our relationship grew, so did our involvement in the branding of new exhibitions which included the design of informational pieces, ads, title walls, invitations, banners and other significant collateral.