826 National is a nonprofit organization that helps young people improve their writing skills, while supporting the organization with a themed retail storefront. There are eight locations in the U.S. that play off of unique parts of each city. My task was to brand a branch in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
After researching Grand Rapids, I found that the city has an abundant art scene. From schools to museums, it’s a major asset for the residents who live there. Playing off of a museum or gallery, My concept of gallery 826 emerged. Thinking about what a gallery is, I began to sketch interiors. A gallery without the art is just a blank space with many walls. To balance my subtle visual concept I used bolder language to make fun of the stereotypical art patron and their “pretentious” attitude.
One obstacle of this brand was keeping it in-line with 826’s communal voice. All 826 branches all have a touch of humor, while I was working with a subject that is most often thought of as humor-less.