Case Study – Rebrand Project

Denver Art Museum

This was a case study rebrand project for a graduate-level Media Campaigns course at the University of West Alabama. Students were to select a brand to redesign from options listed on BrandNew, a website that showcases old and new logos for a variety of industries.

Having a passion for arts and design, I choose to work with the Denver Art Museum.

Company History

Founded in 1893 as the Denver Artists’ Club, the Denver Art Museum today is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast. The museum’s global art collections represent cultures from around the world, with more than 70,000 works of art in 12 collections, including African art, architecture and design, art of the ancient Americas, Asian art, European and American art before 1900, Latin American art, Oceanic art, modern and contemporary art, photography, textile art and fashion, Indigenous arts of North America, and western American art. The museum’s global collections also reflect work by artists from Denver and the Rocky Mountain region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about the world.

As the Denver Art Museum continued to grow, several buildings were designed and built on the campus to house the expanding exhibits and collections. These expansions include:

  • 1949 – Developed own gallery on 14th Avenue Parkway
  • 1954 – Bach Wing (additional gallery space and center for children’s art activities)
  • 1971 – Martin Building (designed by renowned Italian modernist Gio Ponti)
  • 2000 – Hamilton Building (iconic Denver building that houses the museum’s major exhibits and conservation spaces)

The Hamilton building was the inspiration for the rebrand design, as it is such an iconic landmark in the Denver area.

You can view the entire DAM history here.

Target Market

According to research completed by Dr. John H. Falk, there are 5 museum visitor identities based on the motivations of the individual as they visit the museum.  The 5 identities are:

Explorers – visit museums because it interests them and appeals to their curiosity

Facilitators – visit museums in order to satisfy the needs and desires of someone they care about. These include groups like parents and teachers.

Experience Seekers – visit museums to “collect” experiences and are often socially motivated.

Professionals/Hobbyists – visit museums with a goal in mind, and often include museum professionals, art and antique collectors, and artists.

Rechargers – visit museums in order to reflect, rejuvenate, and soak in the displays.

The Denver Art Museum acknowledges each of these visitor identities and gears its exhibits and arrangements to appeal toward each of these demographics.

Source: Understanding Museum Visitors’ Motivations and Learning

Target Market

The DAM has 2 major competitors: one local, and another based on industry.

These are the Denver Zoo, and the Art Institute of Chicago, respectively.

Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo works in tandem with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to support animals through voluntary programs, as well as particpates in conservation and research projects at the Zoo.  They are the Denver Art Museum’s top local competitor, as both are government-funded institutes in the Denver area.  Both appeal to audiences for unique exhibits at low costs.

The DAM has an estimated annual revenue of $11.8M, with $2M in funding as of April 2020.

The Denver Zoo has an estimated annual revenue of $18M.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is DAM’s top industry competitor. While the DAM is one of the largest art museums west of Chicago, the Art Institute is actually one of the oldest and largest art museums in the entire country, and boasts such popularity that approximately 1.5 million people visit annually, whereas the DAM only received 625,941 visitors in the 2019-2020 year. With their vast collection almost 4.5 times bigger than the DAM collection, and a net revenue of $30M, the Art Institute continues to rival the DAM.

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