KyCAD: Refreshing for a new generation of artists

The Kentucky College of Art + Design (KyCAD) is the state’s only independent college doing what it’s doing: offering an interdisciplinary program focused on the evolving role of artists and their impact on society. Headquartered in one of America’s most architecturally significant historic districts, KyCAD cultivates a strong studio culture that promotes an artist’s strong sense of self and passion to collaborate.

But when new generations of artists come through the doors, KyCAD has to stay relevant. Because when culture evolves, so should a brand. Artists, in particular, understand the importance of authenticity and expression, so the nonprofit approached us to help them accurately communicate their unique selves. We partnered with the college to refresh its brand and website to match who they are and where they are going.

Our approach was twofold: update the visual identity and enhance the digital presence. Even though we developed KyCAD’s visual identity several years ago, we reexamined it with fresh eyes. First, we reimagined KyCAD’s color palette. Art is subjective, but we understood that vibrant and energetic colors would become ways to mirror the dynamic spirit of their community. And when it comes to brand colors, versatility is power, so we made sure the palette could artfully expand to marketing materials and other recruitment tools, including the website.

The KyCAD website underwent a more comprehensive redesign. Striking visuals were important, but the site needed to be user-friendly — to become a more engaging platform and digital hub for prospective and current students.

We like revisiting a brand we created many years later. Organizations evolve, and so should brands. This refresh marks a new chapter in KyCAD’s history, rejuvenating their commitment to art and education.