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To celebrate joining the schools of architecture, art and design into a single college, Mississippi State professors decided to host a charette—an urban planning technique that involves a group of designers trying to solve a design problem in a short amount of time. The goal of the project was to get students from the different schools to work together and re-envision the Mississippi State campus.
Design professor Kate Bingaman turned her living room into a studio to create all the materials for the event. "I abused the art department’s copy machine and then screen-printed the orange arrows and metallic blue Mississippi state outlines," she says.
She also enlisted students to help trim the booklets and question/idea cards, as well as make buttons. "I assembled 325 kits in my living room," she says.
The judges were impressed with the project’s low-cost, low-tech techniques. Judge Jenn Visocky O’Grady exclaims, "It just looks cool."
The booklet was the main component in the project kit. It introduced the problem the students would tackle in the charette and prompted questions. It also supplied resources where students could find materials to build their installations.
Since the members of the student groups didn’t know each other well, they used the question/idea cards to stimulate ideas and to break the ice.
Bingaman took photos of the Mississippi State campus to create a poster announcing the project. The only information on the posters were arrows, the phrase "you are here" and Mississippi state silhouettes. "It piqued interest big-time," she says. After the event was announced, student volunteers placed a small informational sticker (with the date and time) on the posters.
Title: You Are Here! Creative Toolkit
Design Firm: If You Are Unhappy For Any Reason, Mississippi State, MS
Art Director/Designer/Illustrator/Photographer/Copywriter/Printer: Kate Bingaman
Client: Mississippi State College of Architecture, Art & Design
A Taste of Milan
When Sant Ambroeus, a Milanese restaurant established in 1936, opened a location on Madison Avenue in New York City, the owners contacted Mucca Design to update its identity.
"They wanted to convey the different personalities of the restaurant—from an early-morning espresso bar to a late-night gelateria—while also maintaining elements of their packaging that had become familiar to clients," explains Roberta Ronsivalle, managing director of Mucca Design.
The firm’s solution was to retain the restaurant’s salmon color, create custom typefaces based on historical type used on the restaurant’s wrapping paper, and integrate the original script logo into a new logo that could change according to its use.
For the HOW judges, it came down to one thing: beauty. "This is a great example of how beauty can sell you on something," explains judge Steve Hartman. "It just kind of brightens your day."
Mucca designed custom text and script fonts for the restaurant. The script is based on writing found on gift-wrapping paper made for the original Sant Ambroeus restaurant that opened in Milan in 1936. The text face is based on type found on typical Italian pasticceria packaging from the same period. Both of these typefaces appear on the logo, menus, packaging and signage.
Since it first opened, Sant Ambroeus has used a salmon color with a strong visual association to cakes and confections. However, the color had not been used consistently—the hue varied from item to item—so the designers standardized it on all printed materials to create a consistent look for the brand.
The styrofoam take-out container is a gelato storage box, common in Italy. The designers used a large label to seal the box and give it an elegant appearance.
Title: Ristorante Sant Ambroeus Menu, Letterhead and Take-out Packaging
Design Firm: Mucca Design, New York City
Art Director: Matteo Bologna
Designer: Andrea Brown
Client: Sant Ambroeus