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Creating an iconic visual identity system that celebrates 20th century Americana.

In 2020, Bob Dylan, rock music’s only Nobel Laureate, continues to be a cultural force. In addition to releasing a critically acclaimed album of brand new material, it was announced that the Bob Dylan Center®, dedicated to the study and appreciation of the musician and his worldwide cultural significance, will open in the Tulsa Arts District in 2021. As the primary public venue for The Bob Dylan Archive®, the Center will curate and exhibit an extraordinary collection of more than 100,000 items spanning Dylan’s career.

In imagining a holistic brand experience for the center, we sought to create an iconic visual identity system that celebrates 20th century Americana, namely protest posters of the 1960s that seem all the more relevant in our current climate. The resulting environment will serve to educate, motivate and inspire visitors to engage their own capacity as creators.

Given Dylan’s stature on a global scale, the importance of the corresponding digital environment cannot be understated. Both the website and digital strategy allow the center to successfully narrate the stories around their annual programming in a visually coherent way across all media platforms.

The visual identity for the Center’s on and offline presence draws its inspiration from the ink blue annotations found in Dylan’s manuscripts, and from 60’s typefaces with a contemporary flair that are evocative of American newspapers. The typical woodblock types that were used for many of Dylan’s concert posters and record sleeves also served as influence for the final product. The logotype visually fuses the familiar (Bob Dylan) with the new (The Center) while emphasizing the importance of the site’s location in Tulsa.

“When it comes to inspiring and influencing generations of music fans, Bob Dylan is in a league of his own,” says Steve Higgins, managing director of the American Song Archives. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to explore the creative process of one of America’s most important artists. We believe the brand and identity we’ve adopted captures the true essence of the Bob Dylan Center mission.”

The Bob Dylan Center, designed by world-renowned architecture firm Olson Kundig of Seattle, is slated to open in 2021. Dylan fans can sign up for email updates at bobdylancenter.com or follow @bobdylancenter on social media.