MetaDesign Creates Visual Identity for PNCA

Portland, Oregon is known as a city that supports art. As part of this community, the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) looked to expand its campus to entice more “creative class” folks to their city and school. They called upon MetaDesign, the folks who’ve created visual identity systems for Apple and Four Seasons among other big names, to help with a new campaign and re-design.


PNCA  purchased the 511 Building, which was a post office located right in downtown in its former life. But, to create a hub of art and design in Portland’s “creative corridor,” PNCA needed to raise money to pay for the renovations. In response, MetaDesign created the “Creativity Works Here” campaign to help raise the $15 million necessary to update the historic building.


MetaDesign focused on the concept of transformation, using bright colors, a grid system and line graphics for the identity system. As MetaDesign creative director Stan Zienka explained:

The challenge was in developing a system that felt young and energetic enough to personify PNCA’s culture, but sophisticated enough to resonate with potential campaign donors.

By the end of the process, a clearly identifiable design language surfaced that communicated the aspirations of the school as an emerging leader in creative education, and that is a powerful expression of the growing cultural vitality of a city that it is on its way to becoming the country’s next art capital.


PNCA and MetaDesign will roll out a new identity and collateral campaign over the next 5 years.


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