Belong to something
curious moving sharp lasting poignant shared enlightening creative legendary engaging comprehensive contemporary powerful simple bright refreshing colorful introspective social vast informative creative energizing uplifting shared insightful instinctive satisfying current dynamic engaging lasting instrumental bold original detailed giving challenging illuminating happy functional here now

The seemingly random collection of words which appear above are contained in a mural which dominates the entrance to the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I found the words resonated so much with me that I immediately jotted them down in my notebook to share with others.
MoMA itself cannot fail to inspire the visitor with its diverse collection of formal – paintings, sculpture, and drawings, architecture, design, film and performance art.
I was intrigued to discover that the mural and words which had inspired me so much were the work of Canada’s own design ‘guru’ Bruce Mau, so I decided to find out more about his involvement.
On the Bruce Mau Design website, Bruce explains: “We were invited to create a new identity, including redesigning one of the most recognizable marks in the world of culture – the iconic MoMA logo, that would revitalize the museum’s image while respecting its distinctive brand.”
“We quickly realized that one of the most profound contributions being made by the new MoMA was to provide something the world – and especially New York City – desperately needed: contemplative space.”
“We decided to treat visual language as a metaphor for sound, and developed typography that would scale from full urban sound level outside (a relatively loud image for the famous logo to rise above the hubbub of the street), dropping down in volume as you go deeper into the building, where by the time you enter the galleries the typography is almost silent, allowing you to experience the artwork without distraction.”

The powerful effect of the words and design set me thinking about the tremendous impact which inspirational design can have in getting messages across in any enterprise, whether it’s an idea, the credibility of an organization, to draw people to them etc.

A ‘graphic example’ – as it were! – is the great success of Charity:Water, founded by Scott Harrison. Scott explains that the starting point for his foundation was the idea and design.  In three years he has raised 19 million US dollars through a creative, entrepreneurial approach combined with good design which has earned them trust, respectability and recognition.
Like Bruce Mau’s words and mural at MoMA, their website inspires, grabs your attention and makes you stop and think.
Job done!

by Rita Field-Marsham