Awards En Masse for Entro’s Work on the Whit­ney Museum (NY)

August 22, 2016


TORONTO, CANADA – Entro’s work on the wayfind­ing and donor signage program for New York’s new Whit­ney Museum of Amer­i­can Art has garnered much atten­tion from the design indus­try, claim­ing multi­ple awards from Red Dot, Graphis, Adver­tis­ing & Design Club of Canada (ADCC), Applied Arts, Commu­ni­ca­tion Arts, and Soci­ety for Expe­ri­en­tial Design (SEGD). Four years in the making and a true exer­cise in the iter­a­tive design process, the work is an exem­plary piece of expe­ri­en­tial graphic design and one that will further propel Entro onto the world stage.

“Being invited to work on the Whit­ney is a testa­ment to how we’ve evolved the firm,” says Andrew Kuzyk, Founder and Part­ner, Entro. Follow­ing the acqui­si­tion of Gottschalk + Ash in 2011, Entro has been grow­ing its port­fo­lio of inter­na­tional work -- and in partic­u­lar, projects in the cultural sector, where high design is much sought after. “Brands need to be palpa­ble in phys­i­cal space to have an impact on culture and commu­nity,” explains Kuzyk. “Success for us means we’ve trans­lated a brand’s essence into its envi­ron­ment and connected people to that place in a very mean­ing­ful way. Within the museum context, it gets more compli­cated as the brand expres­sion must be real­ized with a great deal of func­tion and purpose. It demands an archi­tec­tural sensi­tiv­ity and an abil­ity to shape the guest expe­ri­ence. The focus is first on facil­i­tat­ing an appre­ci­a­tion of the works and exhibits in the museum, and second, on creat­ing a brand impres­sion. When you can do both, that’s when you know you’ve been success­ful.”

Entro was brought in on the Whit­ney project to design iden­tity signage, wayfind­ing, donor recog­ni­tion programs, and elec­tronic event displays for the museum’s 9 floors and 220,000 square feet of space. Described by judges as “brand and wayfind­ing in perfect symbio­sis at every touch­point”, the result is so disarm­ingly simple and authen­tic that seeing it for the first time, one would never know the effort required to get there. Randy John­son, Prin­ci­pal Asso­ciate, explains: “That is the beauty of design; when it’s on mark, there is just an incred­i­ble sense of belong­ing, and feel­ing absolutely right.”

“The abil­ity to concep­tu­al­ize and present many alter­na­tive ideas was instru­men­tal to the process and to real­iz­ing the design solu­tion,” contin­ues John­son. Work­ing with many differ­ing stake­holder groups and archi­tec­tural consid­er­a­tions meant design ideas were presented, refined, retooled and proto­typed several times over before arriv­ing at the final solu­tion. In the early stages of the design devel­op­ment process, a great deal of time was spent analyz­ing the ideal guest expe­ri­ence, circu­la­tion patterns, and how to move people through the space before the team turned its atten­tion to the visual design. Inspired by the “Respon­sive W” of the Whit­ney logo and iden­tity system (design by Exper­i­men­tal Jetset), Entro further devel­oped the chevron shapes to form contain­ers for direc­tional messag­ing. The mono­chro­matic colour palette is limited to black, grey and white, and type is set in all caps with condensed verti­cal spac­ing to enhance the elegant but assertive lines of the chevrons, achiev­ing a contem­po­rary yet time­less qual­ity. Consid­er­a­tion was also given to the mate­ri­als and signage instal­la­tion meth­ods that would comple­ment Renzo Piano’s nuanced archi­tec­ture and facil­i­tate main­te­nance of the signage program by the museum on an ongo­ing basis. Entro opted for a mini­mal­ist approach, apply­ing vinyl on concrete and glass surfaces and a combi­na­tion of screened graph­ics and deli­cate pin-mounted letters on drywall surfaces.

More of Entro’s work can be seen at the Metro­pol­i­tan Museum of Art, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Chicago Insti­tute of Art among others. The firm is now work­ing on simi­lar projects for the National Gallery of Canada, the National Arts Centre, and the Aga Khan Museum.

About the new Whit­ney build­ing:
Designed by archi­tect Renzo Piano and situ­ated at the lower termi­nus of the High Line over­look­ing the Hudson River, the Whitney’s new build­ing, which opened to the public on May 1, 2015, vastly increases the Museum’s exhi­bi­tion and program­ming space, offer­ing the most expan­sive display ever of its unsur­passed collec­tion of modern and contem­po­rary Amer­i­can art.

About Entro:
The firm’s work is about connect­ing people to place. Inter­na­tion­ally renowned for build­ing expe­ri­ences through visual commu­ni­ca­tions, Entro offers design services in wayfind­ing, signage, envi­ron­men­tal graph­ics, brand­ing and media archi­tec­ture. The prac­tice is built on an avant-garde design philos­o­phy grounded by the science of human inter­ac­tions and the belief that every­day expe­ri­ences should be inspi­ra­tional.


Laura Sell­ors
Entro Commu­ni­ca­tions Inc. and Gottschalk+Ash
416-368-6988 x237

Entro_Whitney Press Release