The Fourth Wall

7.30.09 A Beautiful, Intimate Affair

While some events are high-tech, designed for the cutting-edge Internet policy crowd (see the post before last) others are steeped in gorgeous, late 19th century art. The Phillips Collection Annual Gala is one such event.

The first step in the process is a Save the Date postcard, designed and printed many months before the other materials. At this stage a visual language is established, one that is flexible enough to carry across multiple pieces in a campaign. On the the photo above, taped to a press sheet of the postcards, you can see  sketched ideas for two invitation formats. . The vertical booklet format became the program, while the more dynamic, horizontal became the invite.

Held in the beautiful galleries on 21st street, The Gala is the museum’s major annual fundraising event, affording patrons an incredible opportunity to dine amongst the masterpieces, including Dancers at the Bar, by Degas, this year’s key image for the event. designfarm‘s challenge in working with an intensely iconic, highly recognizable, and undeniably gorgeous painting, was to find a way to both respect and bring a fresh context to the work.

Of course, in my mind, it seems tough to go wrong when working with the palette of a brilliant master. Ultimately though, I’m proud of striking that perfect balance and I believe there are many years of experience behind these kinds of confident decisions.

Did you know that when The Phillips Collection opened in 1921, it was America’s first modern art museum? I highly recommend a visit where you will “encounter superb works of modern art in an intimate setting.”

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