The Maine College of Art unveiled a new institutional logo at a press conference May 3, 2013. The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette* hosted on campus in early February, 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram and MECA graphic design faculty led by professors Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate and document the process. According to Eddie Opara, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”

Professor Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than through creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”

Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland Maine, the new visual identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.

“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness of what makes this such a special place.” said then-MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: the five-pronged ‘E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement —studio, agency, place, community, and ethics; the five floors of the historic Porteous building; and the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, Continuing Studies, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”

Graphic design major Sarah Mohammadi ‘13, was honored and proud to have been involved in such an important project. “Having the opportunity to work with professional designers and faculty members on a project that had never been done before was truly amazing. As a student, being part of the collaboration that rebranded the school we represent was an experience that is irreplaceable. It was an experience that none of us will ever forget and we all will be proud of for years to come.”

 

What is a charrette? The word charrette refers to an intensely collaborative period of design activity where a group of design professionals work towards drafting a solution to a design problem. Recently Maine College of Art underwent a rebranding that was executed by a team of Graphic Design Students.