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The type specimens for Cubist Bold served as a typographic font of inspiration for the Art Design Chicago aesthetic.

The design process for the Art Design Chicago logo shows how Goggin bridges modern sensibilities with a look rooted in historical Chicago typefaces and stencil work.

“Just in the same way that the overall initiative is telling a story about the history of Chicago art and design, I felt very strongly that the identity should also play that role. It should have a back story, and it should have references built into it that people might ask about and gradually discover.” He achieved this aim by using typographical specimens he found in the Newberry collection to inspire the logo design as well as the fonts—like Cooper Black—that would be used in publications. For the Art Design Chicago logo, Cubist Bold samples, produced by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler in Chicago (the same company that produced Cooper’s designs), provided a basis for a new typographical design for Art Design Chicago. Goggin also turned to the idea of stencils to communicate what he calls the “urgency and pragmatism” of Chicago style. The aesthetic of stencils—an item produced in Chicago as well as a tool of production—elicits a sense of product design and manufacturing. The final outcome was a modernist typographic brand image that could be used, stencil-like, in many contexts while still pointing to Chicago’s history of design production in typography, manufacturing, and practical communication. Using typefaces and manufacturing styles that originated in Chicago, Goggin conveyed a specific sense of place in the logo instead of a more generic design. The typefaces distinguished Chicago from other cultural centers. “The direction I was looking for was something really heavy, geometric, but with enough idiosyncrasies and oddness, to make it feel Chicago as opposed to perhaps New York and some of the smoother art deco geometric forms you might

find from type at the time,” said Goggin. By working with the collection that demonstrates Chicago-centered design work, Goggin was able to create a brand identity for the initiative that would evoke a truly Chicago sensibility. Goggin and Farrell are among many designers who come to the Newberry to inform their work. The designer J.P. Ramirez, before visiting the Newberry, remarked that many other Chicago designers had repeatedly told him, “You have to go to the Newberry.” He finally made it into the reading rooms for a project designing signature monograms and a calligraphy style for which he consulted Newberry examples of monogram designs and calligraphic specimens. Importantly, these collections must be used to make sure that historical discourse continues to happen. Farrell knows this well. She says of her own assemblage of type, “I want to avoid collecting for the sake of collecting; to me it’s a dead collection if you’re not using it or learning from it.” Historical materials can, and should, be used to inform the present and create new work. Farrell and other artists incorporate those materials, like the Newberry archives, into their new creations. The Newberry makes these collections available to the public to find new ways to make meaning, preserving and sharing materials that can inspire future work to continue the legacy that Chicago has cultivated over the years. The design history in Chicago is rich, and institutions like the Newberry, initiatives like Art Design Chicago, and the people who use those resources every day ensure that legacy’s continued relevance.


Spring 2018

Jamie Waters is Communications Coordinator at the Newberry.

Profile for Newberry Library

The Newberry Magazine, Spring 2018  

Cover story: Newberry staff pilot a new approach to organizing tens of thousands of road maps and pieces of travel ephemera from the 20th ce...

The Newberry Magazine, Spring 2018  

Cover story: Newberry staff pilot a new approach to organizing tens of thousands of road maps and pieces of travel ephemera from the 20th ce...