MECA Makes Its Mark - Maine College of Art

Design Majors and Faculty

The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest.

MECA is excited to announce the launch of a new visual identity designed to convey the College’s rich history and dynamic future. Our new mark reflects the institution’s strongest assets: an extraordinary community of artists and the mission of promoting academic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

The new mark is the culmination of combined efforts that transpired over an intensive three-day charrette hosted on campus in early February 2013. Orchestrated under the guidance and vision of internationally-known designer Eddie Opara, Partner at Pentagram (the world’s largest multi-disciplinary design firm), and graphic design faculty led by Margo Halverson and Charles Melcher, a group of MECA graphic design majors were selected to participate. Eddie Opara introduced the charrette, “The whole process is to establish a way that the students can start to understand how the real world actually works.”

At MECA, from the day students arrive on campus, we provide them with the skills and opportunities to be creative professionals for life through our Artists at Work program. This philosophy is supported by intentionally offering them experiences like this to use their creative talents as undergraduates.

The three-day charrette emphasized the professional approach to graphic design and revolved around defining a narrative through discovery that would ultimately serve to inform the design process. Charles Melcher noted, “This is an avant-garde approach to developing an institutional identity that, to the best of our knowledge, has never before been attempted in North America. What better way to celebrate MECA’s mission than creating an unprecedented legacy that highlights the college’s creative force and trust and support for our students and faculty.”

Inspired by MECA’s distinctive sense of place and the critical role MECA serves as an anchor in the Arts District of Portland, Maine, the new visual  identity captures the creative energy that pours out of the historic Porteous building 24/7 into our increasingly interconnected local and global communities.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rebecca Swanson Conrad believes that the introduction of a new visual identity is a historic moment for MECA. She said, “The purpose of developing a new mark that more effectively communicates the vibrant pulse of our community is not only to cultivate unity and a sense of pride, but to reaffirm the common thread that holds us all together as a greater sense of whole.”

“The uncommon process employed to develop MECA’s new mark exemplifies creative problem-solving at its finest and underscores the distinctiveness that makes this such a special place,” said MECA President Donald Tuski. “Not only does our logo signify the unparalleled educational experience and wealth of professional development opportunities found at MECA, it also symbolizes several of our most important defining attributes: The five-pronged ‛E’ represents the five core tenets of our educational philosophy statement — studio, agency, place, community, and ethics, the five floors of the historic Porteous building, the five educational areas — BFA, MFA, Art Ed, CS, and Pre-College, while paying tribute to the iconic red stairwell that unifies each of the departments and majors.”