In 2021, the Arboretum hosted Daniel Popper, a prominent artist from Cape Town, South Africa, for his first large-scale exhibition in the United States. The exhibition featured five unique sculptures created exclusively for the Arboretum that were placed in specific locations across the Arboretum's expanse. In 2022, three more sculptures were added and remained until the end of the exhibit. The task at hand was to create a visual identity for the exhibition that spanned onsite signage, digital and print advertising, website graphics, store merchandise, and more.
When I saw the sketches of the proposed sculptures and images of Popper's past work, I was inspired by the line work that he created and the feminine curves of his sculptures. I was immediately reminded of contour drawings and based my designs off of that, starting with rough drawings of human faces and hands and then adding in more natural elements to tie it all together with the landscape of the Arboretum. One of the challenges was finding ways to incorporate photos into advertising after the opening of the exhibit which was solved by blending the images into the blue sky background of the various pieces.
I applied this look and feel to materials such as banners, posters, preview invitation postcards, the website, interpretive signage, email headers and signatures, video screens, PR materials, digital and static billboards, digital display ads, and more.
I created illustrations that were inspired by each sculpture. It was important that they not be a copy, but still relate to the work so I took important elements from each and created the illustrations from that. The panels were placed far enough away from the sculptures that they served as a sort of preview as visitors hiked to each destination.
Using these signs as a base, the rest of the signage was created to match. These included signs for parking lots along the way, wayfinding signage, and modular panels that were added below the main panels to show sponsors or pertinent Covid-19 information at the time.