Constructing excitement

An innovative new building was only an architect’s sketch at the point UMass Medical School called Idea Agency to create an identity for this landmark project that would “pioneer a new era of biomedical research, medical education, and campus collaboration.”

An evolution unlike any other

We quickly understood that this state-of-the-art building – involving thousands of people, millions of dollars, and multiple years – would be home to Nobel Prize-winning research and the future of life sciences. Named after the former Vice Chancellor of University Relations, Albert Sherman, we branded the building and the entire construction project with an eye toward a bigger, all-encompassing brand we soon referred to as The Life Sciences Evolution.

Here* is where we start

First, we created a strong visual identity – a logo that graphically represented an aerial view of the UMass campus in Worcester, placing an asterisk right where the new building would go. This visual mnemonic was used to denote both the actual location of the building as well as the concept that the Life Sciences Evolution was happening right here at UMass. The asterisk would go on to be used throughout the course of the project and beyond.

Building consistency across all mediums

Once the identity was established, we created a vision piece for donors and a microsite for posting critical information and updates during the construction of the Albert Sherman Center. Using architectural renderings, we began painting a picture of the new building, creating construction signage and informational brochures. Finally, as the building was ready to be revealed, we took fresh interior photography for our special edition of the campus magazine, and designed event invitations and announcement signage to be posted on light-poles on the streets surrounding the campus.

Success over multiple years

About our partnership with UMass for this project, Vice Chancellor for Communications, Mark Shelton noted: “Knowing the Sherman Center communications project would require a commitment over a period of years, we wanted the depth and breadth that comes from an agency that really takes the time to understand the goals and aspirations of a communications campaign… So as we expected, they not only had good ideas for us in abundance, but they helped us communicate thematically in support of the communications goals we set out to fulfill.”

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