Designing a Better Chicago is an annual celebration, for residents and visitors alike, that shines a light on the extraordinary impact of design on civic life. The program also supports local individuals and organizations using the power of design to advance social good through its Design Impact Grant.
The effort is a collaboration between theMART, NeoCon, DCASE and the Design Museum of Chicago. The team reached out to us looking for a thoughtful visual identity to build awareness and enthusiasm. Together, we developed a thoroughly contemporary system that is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history of design excellence.
To develop the logo, we discovered inspiration in the—overlooked—Chicago’s municipal device. An iconic symbol that hides in plain sight throughout the city, it references the 19th-century engineering feat of reversing the flow of the Chicago River. The linear forms provide a pared down yet meaningful foundation for the entire visual system.