Making History/ Making Art: MICA

Posted: January 27, 2012

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Maryland Institute College of Art
Design Firm:

Abbott Miller and Jeremy Hoffman

Douglas L. Frost
Advantage Book Binding
Schmitz Press, Sparks, MD
Mohawk Loop Silk

Pentagram NY has had a longstanding relationship with the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), during which time they have undertaken a variety of projects for the school, from signage to the redesign of their identity in 2007.The school’s history helped inform that new identity, and the identity, in turn, greatly informed the design of this book, Making History/Making Art: MICA. The book’s dust jacket which simulates the view one would have looking through the glass frit pattern of MICA’s newest academic building (Brown Center, 2003) onto the old 1904 Main Building.

Making the Book

The most challenging part of the book according to designer, Jeremy Hoffman, was “the nearly 550 images that came from dozens of different institutions and outside sources. It required more than a month of color correction and retouching. We used under-color removal on much of the neutral photography and paper ephemera. The UCR allowed for much greater color control on press. And color was important considering each form had dozens of images with numerous image crossovers.”

Why Mohawk?

“Green” initiatives have been a very important part of the school’s growth in recent years, clearly evident in its extensive campus landscaping. MICA has also instituted energy-saving measures in its buildings and vehicles; switched to single-stream recycling; and was the first college in Baltimore to compost. Its bold Gateway residence hall, designed by Baltimore-based RTKL and built by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, reflects this commitment to sustainability with low-emissivity glass, high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliances, low-flow water fixtures, a reflective roof coating and a variety of renewable and recyclable building materials and furnishings. Environmentally conscious paper choices are also important to the school. Mohawk’s uncoated papers have been an integral part of the institute’s stationery and collateral system for years so no one questioned the use of Mohawk Loop Silk for this project. (They knew it would perform well).“Although it was a new sheet, its “soft” silk finish was very appealing to the design team,” says Hoffman. “The result is a book that all involved are happy with on many levels.”

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