Rebranding culture

Mass Cultural Council

The Challenge

An agency at a crossroads needed clarity and purpose.

An agency at a crossroads needed clarity and purpose.

The arts and cultural sector not only contributes billions to our local economy every year; it is also at the core of who we are – and what we have to offer – as a region. As the principal government agency supporting culture in the state, the Mass Cultural Council is connected to virtually everything that attracts visitors to Massachusetts, from traditional museums to neighborhood cultural districts and community art festivals.

But when the Mass Cultural Council commissioned us in 2016 to help them bring clarity and purpose to their identity, the organization was at a crossroad, beset by decades of culture wars, decreased funding for arts education, and a general skepticism about public support for an “elite” industry. At the same time, their brand was fragmented, with multiple initiatives all having their own identities and messaging.

Services Provided:

  • Branding
  • Strategic Messaging
  • UX/UI
  • Design
  • Content
  • Social/Cause Marketing
  • Video/Photography
  • Communications 

“Power of culture” has become a rallying cry for both their staff and external stakeholders.

The Solution

Bold cultural leadership – without apologies

Bold cultural leadership – without apologies

Working with the executive director and key management, we built a new brand architecture and defined a new bold vision for the Mass Cultural Council that put culture, without apologies, at the center. A new tagline, “Power of Culture” and a fresh visual identity anchored by a contemporary mark became the driving force for a renewed agency that could now step confidently into the limelight and assert its leadership role, both here and across the nation.

We also developed a messaging platform to support their vision – storytelling building blocks that they could use internally and share with like-minded institutions. Our strategy culminated in a new website that makes everything the Mass Cultural Council does easily accessible to everyone who cares about the role of arts and culture in our civic life.

The Results

A rallying cry and a renewed sense of relevance

The new tagline has become a rallying cry for the organization, especially during a contentious state budgeting process that brought Mass Cultural Council its largest share since 2002, after years of steady decline. Just as important, the new brand has become the foundation of important initiatives in community organizing and creative youth development.

Our photographs capture the surprising ways in which people interact with culture every day. Many of these photographs have made their way into the website and other communications.