American Masters
From Star Spangled Banner to a star-studded show

24 August – 11 November 2018

Dust off your best stars and stripes and welcome the greats from the old U.S. of A. American Masters was the National Gallery of Australia’s impressive exhibition of American Art from the 1940s to the 1980s, featuring big names such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Chuck Close, Donald Judd, Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeois.

We were asked to develop the brand that would be implemented throughout the exhibition space as well as print collateral and merchandise. As well as implement the press and digital campaign that would create hype for the exhibition and reflect its theme.

Oh say, can you see?   

Rather than going for the obvious national flag colour palette choice, we wanted to subtly tap into the idea of America and what it represents. We also wanted to capture a feel of the specific time period, one that was so important to modern and contemporary art.

Sweet as cherry pie

First, we decided that a big, brash masthead, in the style of 1950s American advertisements would match the design with the content. We then collapsed the two lines of the wordmark to appear more panel-like, so that it became evocative of colour field painting.

We also chose a deliberately simple yet bold colour palette as a subtle nod to the artworks, while letting them speak for themselves.

American Masters for National Gallery of Australia by Makework, a Brisbane graphic design, website and branding agency.

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The National Gallery of Australia, located in Canberra, is the Commonwealth of Australia’s national cultural institution for the visual arts.

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