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  • Ashton Design 10:59 am on January 28, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , environmental, , , ,   

    15 in 2015 

    Ashton Design’s 30th year in business, 2015, was marked by some of the largest, most complex and rewarding projects in our history. Whether we were in our own city revitalizing a historical theater or halfway across the globe completing an international science exhibit, we approached every project in the same way: designing solutions and experiences that were uniquely tailored to each project and its audience.


    ABET Brand Launch
    Identity, Print, Web, Environments


    One of our largest and most extensive projects of the year  was developing the new identity and logo for ABET, a global organization that sets the standard for higher educational programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. We created a contemporary identity that mirrors its forward-thinking purpose and implemented it across the full spectrum of ABET’s brand imagery, media, and materials, as well as environmental graphics for the organization’s headquarters and corporate training facility in downtown Baltimore. We also conceptualized and designed two of their largest special events—their annual Awards Gala and Annual Symposium Conference. More


    ABET Website


    We transformed the existing ABET website into a streamlined and engaging experience that reflects the organization’s work in global accreditation for cutting-edge science and technology related educational programs. Bold applications of color, custom icons and defined typographic styles help to create a dynamic user-friendly site with intuitive navigation for both ABET members and first-time visitors. The website, along with the identity, were recognized with two international marketing and communication awards.
    Visit the website


    Konya Science Center, “Our Bodies”
    Environments, Illustration


    We completed our first international exhibit—“Our Bodies”—one of seven permanent galleries in the Konya Science Center—Turkey’s first interactive science center. We created stylized scientific and anatomical illustrations and a simple bilingual visual system for the exhibit graphics that create a fully immersive environment with the goal of producing an informal learning setting for kids between 4 and 9 years old. The exhibit is part of a greater complex with a LEED-certified museum that is expected to attract 1.7 million visitors a year. More


    Old Ellicott City
    Identity, Print, Environments


    Old Ellicott City is a beautiful and thriving historic main street in the heart of Maryland. We were tasked with capturing its quirky and independent spirit with a new identity and tagline. We had the opportunity to work with historic wood type for the logo from Baltimore’s famous Globe Poster Printing Corporation, now managed by the Globe Press Studio at MICA. The tagline—“Individually Crafted”—refers both to the unique personalities that make up Old Ellicott City and to the ability for each visitor to create his/her own unique experience in this eclectic downtown. 


    Harley-Davidson Museum, “Willie G Davidson: Artist, Designer, Leader, Legend”
    Identity, Enviroments


    This summer’s special exhibit at the Harley-Davidson Museum—“Willie G. Davidson: Artist, Designer, Leader, Legend”—celebrated the life, career and legacy of Willie G. Davidson, the man behind the iconic look, shape and feel of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Working closely with Willie G. and the museum’s curatorial staff, we created the show’s identity, layout and interpretive graphics. Running from June 13th—September 7th, the exhibit gave visitors access to one-of-a-kind vehicles, original designs, art and rare artifacts that provided an insight into his unique creative process and personal style. More


    Sagamore Development Headquarters



    Working with Sagamore Development and Patrick Sutton Interiors, we designed the signage for Sagamore’s new headquarters. Owned by Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank and one of the firms leading Baltimore’s transformational development, Sagamore’s modern, industrial interior offices are finished with custom cold rolled steel walls, which inspired our simple yet effective signage. More recently, we were asked to collaborate with Colorado-based Finndustry, and interior designer Patrick Sutton to create a comprehensive sign package for the new hotel being established on the Fells Point Recreation Pier by Sagamore. More


    The Centre



    This year we had the opportunity to help revitalize Baltimore’s beautiful but long-neglected Centre Theatre and transform it into an award-winning multi-purpose space. Working with non-profit developer Jubilee Baltimore and Ziger/Snead Architects, we created Art Deco-inspired graphics and signage and the restored marquee to once again illuminate North Avenue in the Station North Arts District. The space, recipient of a ULI Baltimore Wavemaker Award, is now home to local businesses, community organizations and the joint filmmaking program of Johns Hopkins and Maryland Institute College of Art. More


    Georgetown University


    Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) was in need of a more user-friendly and visually-appealing website and we were excited to help. Working in close collaboration with the school, as well as Ashton’s writing, development and strategy team, we helped to develop a new system, using current brand standards, in which potential students and teachers could easily navigate the expansive and engaging website. After its launch, we worked with Georgetown on improving their website for the English Language Programs.
    Visit the site


    Maryland Distillers Guild


    In recent years, Maryland has experienced a resurgence in small craft distilleries, and we were excited to be asked to create the logo for the Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG), which represents and raises awareness for the growing Maryland spirit industry. The MDG logo is inspired by Maryland’s long tradition of rye distilling, taking inspiration from historic wax stamps and ornate typography but updated for its contemporary use. More


    Latitude Residences
    Identity, Print, Environments


    In 2015 we started work on the identity and environmental design for Latitude, an innovative apartment complex in Champaign, Illinois. Home to University of Chicago students and young professionals, Latitude aims to provide an innovative and collaborative atmosphere with extensive co-working spaces and amenities reminiscent of a tech startup. 


    Sunnyfields Cabinetry
    Identity, Print, Web, Environments


    Sunnyfields, a “new kind of home centre for the Baltimore region”, needed a new look to go with their newly opened showroom for high-end custom cabinetry and home goods. We worked closely with the client to create a logo, website, signage and various print materials, and in doing so, helped to define their brand position and marketing strategy. The result is an identity that is as elegant, unique and experience-driven as their showroom.
    Visit the website


    BMA African Wing


    After the success of the American Wing family guide, we again teamed up with the Baltimore Museum of Art to create another kid-friendly piece for their newly expanded African Art gallery. Wanting to avoid overly themed cliches, we took a more contemporary approach to the guide by balancing bold color and typography with a collage-style layout within each spread. The result is a piece that is playful, accessible and engaging for kids. More




    Arris is the newest apartment building to open in The Yards, one of the trendiest areas along the Capital Waterfront in Washington DC. We were tasked with creating interior and exterior signage that will complement this unique and dynamic building designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. As the project is nearing completion, we will soon be able to share more of our signage.


    St. Paul’s School Annual Fund & Annual Report


    For over 20 years, we have been partnering with St. Paul’s School to create their development, fundraising and strategic plan materials. For the 2015 Annual Report, we wanted to have the message be about St. Paul’s donors and how their past contributions had enhanced the school. We had over 400 students from 1st-12th grade write personal thank you letters describing how donations had helped to improve their school experience. These hand-written messages were carried throughout the printed Annual Report and one of the 400 letters was included with each mailed report for a one-of-a-kind thank you.


    KIPP DC Panthers



    Inspired by European soccer club logo crests, the new identity we created for the KIPP DC College Prep Panthers takes a sophisticated  approach to school athletics graphics. The mark and seal will soon be applied to uniforms, supergraphics and the main gymnasium floor. In addition to the Panthers’ identity, we are currently working on the school’s exterior signage, donor recognition and interior graphics. More


    This upcoming year, we are looking forward to partnering with our wide range of educational, cultural, and corporate clients, on projects across all design platforms. We will soon be completing a few long-term projects, including and extensive environmental graphics program for an NCAA university athletics complex and custom illustration and murals for one of the world’s most highly regarded hospitals. We are also looking forward to starting many new projects, including branding and signage for an 18-story high rise, a historic market house and a 300,000 sq ft retail facility. As a small studio of designers who think across many disciplines, we love to take on the unique challenges that each project brings us and share the results of our diverse work with you.

    If you aren’t on our e-newsletter list, subscribe above at the right column fields. Also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest studio news and events.


  • Ashton Design 11:23 am on September 28, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Gateway, , , ,   

    Ashton Design is One of Five Finalists in New City Gateway Signage Contest 


    September 28, 2015, Baltimore, MD — Ashton Design is excited to be one of five finalists chosen for the competition to design new city gateway signage. Last Friday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the five finalists, which also includes Baltimore’s Jillian + M Design and Post Typography as well as Chicago’s Krivanek +Breaux/ Art + Design and Miami’s R & R Studios.

    With over 30 years of designing identity, print, digital and environment executions for schools and universities, private and public companies, artists, firms, sports stadiums and non-profit organizations, Ashton Design loves the idea of creating the entry gateways for those living in, working in, visiting, passing through, or returning to Baltimore City.

    “While our projects takes us all over the country, we love working in our own hometown the most,” says Creative Director Alexey Ikonomou. “We see it as the ultimate in dream jobs. It allows us to make an impression–an authentic impression representative of the creativity and diversity of this great city–and our team can’t wait to dive in.”

    In August, The City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in collaboration with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation issued requests for qualifications from designers or design teams for the purpose of creating new Baltimore City gateway signage. Finalists have until October 25 to submit their proposal showing their concept and visual solutions for the signage including a budget and timeline after which time a winner will be selected by a jury.

    Ashton Design is a multidisciplinary design firm with an international reputation for design leadership in the practice of identity and experience design for people, places, businesses and organizations.

    Additional Press and Links:
    Baltimore Business Journal

  • alexey 10:18 pm on February 18, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: AD30, , , , ,   

    2014 Year in Review 

    2014 was a busy and exciting year at Ashton Design. We worked on a wide variety of projects far and near–from a science exhibit in Konya, Turkey, to a series of brochures to preserve Maryland landmarks. We are grateful as always for the devoted clients and partners who share our passion for using great design to solve real-world problems. We’ve featured a selection of 2014 projects here, along with exciting news for 2015.

    MICA Presidential Inauguration
    Identity, Print, Environments


    For the fall 2014 inauguration of MICA’s first new president in 30+ years we conceptualized the inauguration logo and theme—Forward Together—and designed the program, stage banners, and wayfinding signage for this historic event. The theme reflects MICA’s enduring leadership in progressive higher education, and President Samuel Hoi’s commitment to collaboration in preparing graduates to be a creative force stimulating innovation globally. More


    State of Maryland Public Health Lab


    The Ashton Design team created interior and exterior signage, graphics, and plaques for public art at the new Maryland Public Health Lab in the Johns Hopkins Science+Technology Park. We worked with architects HDR, Forest City–New East Baltimore Partnership, Maryland Economic Development Corp., and other stakeholders on pedestrian wayfinding. Maryland’s then-Governor Martin O’Malley attended the summer 2014 ribbon cutting. More


    Konya Science Center Exhibition Design


    We began work in 2014 on exhibition design and bilingual graphics in Turkish and English for “Our Bodies,” one of seven permanent exhibition galleries in Turkey’s first interactive science center. Located in the nation’s third largest city, the 25,000 sq ft museum funded by TÜBITAK (The Scientific and Research Council of Turkey) is expected to attract 1.7 million visitors per year. “Our Bodies” is opening Spring 2015.


    BMA American Wing Family Guide


    The Baltimore Museum of Art enlisted Ashton Design to create a kid-friendly guide for its newly reopened American Wing galleries—and 100th anniversary. Working with the museum’s education department, we created this playful and engaging publication for families with children that offers interactive insights into seven featured artworks in the Museum’s renowned American Collection. More


    Johns Hopkins University Babb Field at Stromberg Stadium


    We unveiled our first collegiate baseball stadium in September, when Johns Hopkins dedicated Babb Field at Stromberg Stadium. On a site where Hopkins baseball has been played since the ’30s, the stadium revitalizes the north edge of Homewood campus. Our expertise with stadium graphics enhanced both the fan and player experience. And, like MLB teams following an Ashton Design major graphics project, we expect the Blue Jays to have a winning season this spring. More


    Fred Lazarus IV Graduate Center & 1801 Addition

    The majority of our designers are MICA alumni, so we take special pride in projects we do for the College, such as signage for its fully renovated graduate center, renamed to honor its transformative retiring president, and the addition of a renovated millwork warehouse which allowed MICA to consolidate all graduate programming in Spring 2014. This is one of several major campus projects we participated in during Lazarus’s 36-year tenure. More


    Pentagon Row Retail Center



    In 2014, we designed a bold, vibrant signage system to replace outdated and ineffective signs for this multi-use shopping, residential, and entertainment destination, located just across from the U.S. Pentagon. We integrated parking counters with pylon signs to help visitors find open spots among 1,800 spaces, as well as pedestrian directionals and maps to direct visitors to destinations in this dynamic 297,000 sq. ft retail center.


    Montrose Crossing Retail Center

    Identity, Environments


    We created a refreshed brand reflecting the premium shopping experience offered by this center located in affluent Montgomery County, Maryland. Outdated signs were replaced with a new wayfinding system that includes clearer, concise directional messages. A unified design style branded the center while meeting local code requirements for this power center catering to more than 150,000 residents and 88,000 workers within a 3-mile radius. More


    Preservation Maryland



    In 2014, we partnered with Baltimore-based nonprofit Preservation Maryland on a “social design” project using graphic design to enact real-world change. We designed brochures to raise awareness of and motivate support to save endangered places statewide. The brochure’s aesthetic and imagery captures the urgency of the challenge to save important historic sites by illustrating the fate of these landmarks without ongoing support. See the publications: 1. Endangered Maryland, 2. Membership Brochure


    Buttonwood Financial Advisors

    Identity, Print, Web


    We created a stylish identity and website that reflects Buttonwood’s firm ethos, crafting a visual experience that parallels real-life client interactions. We refined the logo and color palette, integrated the new look and messaging into printed materials and responsive website. Custom black-and-white photography reinforces through visual simplicity an air of confidence in Buttonwood’s advisors, and video brings the client experience to life. More


    St. Paul’s School Strategic Plan
    Identity, Print, Web


    We transformed the 5-year strategic plan of this college-preparatory day school from a text-heavy insider document to a dynamic online experience. The site engages visitors and connects the plan to campus-wide activities through unique icons for each initiative, exchangeable profiles that connect the plan with the student experience, and a visual approach that reinforces the School’s values of inclusiveness, diversity, and authenticity. More


    St. Paul’s School Annual Report and Annual Fund
    Print, Web


    In addition to developing a strategic plan website, Ashton Design worked with this Brooklandville, Md., college preparatory day school to develop a printed and online annual report and printed annual fund campaign. More


    Tindeco Wharf
    Identity, Environments


    Converted from a historic tin-decorating company in 1985, Tindeco Wharf was in the vanguard historic re-use in Baltimore. In 2014, we were tapped to redesign identity and signage for the complex, located on the harbor in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. The project’s visual look capitalized on the building’s history, reflecting its industrial roots and accommodating the lifestyle of its 21st century residents.


    Irvine Nature Center

    The case statement we designed for Irvine Nature Center’s $3.5 million endowment campaign needed to appeal emotionally to a diverse array of potential donors and be informative enough to deepen awareness of this 116-acre preserve’s hands-on environmental education programs. Using existing photography and quotes from trustees and volunteers, we captured the energy and creativity of Irvine’s programs and its impact on people of all ages. See the publication


    Funk & Bolton
    Identity, Print


    Funk & Bolton is a Mid-Atlantic-based law firm and professional association of nearly 30 attorneys practicing primarily in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Ashton Design performed an identity refresh, which included refining and redrawing the old company logo. The updated logo and new identity was then applied to various printed collateral, stationary, and eNewsletter.


    Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards continues to be the benchmark by which all great sports stadiums are measured. In 2014, the iconic signage and other design elements developed by Ashton Design for the stadium’s 1992 opening were added to the holdings of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. More


    Ashton Projects Recognized at 2014 Wavemaker Awards


    Ashton Design created environmental graphics for 3 of 8 winning projects at the Baltimore chapter of the Urban Land Institute’s annual WaveMaker Awards—1. MICA’s Leake Hall, 2. Mt. Vernon Mill No. 1, and 3. Crosswinds at Annapolis Town Centre. The awards recognize successful development projects that are unique, innovative, and visionary. Projects were judged on sense of place, design quality, use of sustainable practices, and overall vision. More


    Looking Back, Moving Forward—30 Years of Ashton Design
    30th Anniversary Announcement

    When David Ashton founded Ashton Design in 1985, there was no Internet as we know it. Design in the mid-1980s was an art and craft requiring hand skills, a good eye, a little technology, and a lot of heart. Looking back on 30 years of Ashton Design’s work, and remembering all of the many talented designers who got their start here, it’s clear that there is something unique at the heart of this firm. We’ve grown in scope, but maintained the small-firm attitude that has defined us, as well as our inspiring workspace, in a historic 19th century townhouse in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

    Even as we’ve become known internationally for our most high-profile projects, we’ve refused to be defined by a single focus. Instead, we’ve retained a culture, ethos, and firm structure that encourages creative problem-solving, collegial collaboration, and the highest level of design practice—as we’ve taken on new challenges and recruited new talent.

    Throughout our 30th anniversary year, we’ll be highlighting 30 projects from the past 30 years that illustrate what it’s meant to be Ashton Design—and offer a clue to this firm’s future.

    If you aren’t on our e-newsletter list, subscribe above at the right column fields, so we can send you alerts as we post new AD30 projects, check out our blog for posts tagged AD30, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Also check out our other Ashton Design social media pages.



  • Jenny Hoffman 9:21 am on November 25, 2014 Permalink  

    Reinventing the American Wing Experience 

    BMA American Wing Ashton DesignThe Baltimore Museum of Art is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As part of the centennial celebration, this past weekend the museum reopened its American galleries after a two-year restoration, part of a larger five-year $28 million renovation plan.

    Ashton Design created the family guide for the renovated American Wing galleries. The 15,000-square-foot wing, considered one of the best American art collections in the country, contains more than 800 paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative arts. The guide “Growing Up in America” introduces families to seven objects from the collection. Ashton Design worked with the museum’s education department to create a playful and engaging piece for families with children.


    Custom drawn elements are an important design component of the guide. Patterns throughout the book are based on actual historic wallpaper patterns found inside the galleries. Hand drawn typography and illustrations annotate and complement the artwork to emphasize that these items are not lifeless, old pieces of art. Instead these objects have a rich and storied past with meaningful human connections.


    The piece fulfills the museum’s mission to “inspire creativity, encourage learning, and foster human understanding.” The family guide honors 200 years of American art while appealing to a new generation of museum visitors.



  • alexey 10:11 am on October 21, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: ABET, , , branded environment, , , , ,   

    International Accreditation Agency selects Ashton Design for Rebranding 

    Ashton Design was selected this summer as the design and marketing agency of record for ABET, the international leader in the accreditation of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The project includes developing a new brand identity, brand guidelines, as well as their public website and print materials to align with the new brand strategy.

    The first major benchmark in this project will be the launch of the new brand identity, logo, and core message strategy. Stakeholder engagement and brand positioning began last year by London-based consulting firm Neil Gaught & Associates, Ltd., and spearheaded by ABET’ s director of global communications, Danielle Baron. The process involved an intensive review of the organization’s historic and current mission, its position within the accreditation marketplace, and the messaging strategy.

    Alexey Ikonomou, Ashton Design’s creative director, explained that ABET’s approach is to reach a global audience through a forward-thinking visual identity. He added, “We are excited to be working with a global organization that’s located just around the corner from our Baltimore studio.”

    Ashton Design will first be tasked with conceptualizing and developing the new identity and logo, then implementing the full spectrum of ABET’s brand imagery, media, and materials (print, web and video), including a redesigned, streamlined website, internal documents and collateral print materials, as well as environmental graphics for the organization’s headquarters and corporate training facility.

    The new identity will make its public debut at ABET’s annual symposium conference in April 2015.

    ABET is a Baltimore-based nonprofit/non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accredits over 3,450 programs at 698 colleges and universities in 28 nations. ABET provides specialized, programmatic accreditation that evaluates an individual program of study, rather than evaluating an institution as a whole.

    Ashton Design is a boutique design firm based in Baltimore, Maryland since 1985, with a close-knit team of highly creative minds in a collaborative environment. Core design disciplines include identity and logo creation, environmental graphics, web and print design. Ashton Design works with a diverse set of clients from Major League Baseball stadiums to local restaurants, as well as architecture and interior firms, commercial development projects, non-profits, retail and entertainment entities, and schools and public institutions.

  • alexey 2:14 pm on October 14, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Ashton Design Makes Waves 


    ULI-Wavemaker-Event-2014Photo: Maximilian Franz,

    The Urban Land Institute of Baltimore hosted its annual WaveMaker Awards Event on October 9, 2014. The awards program recognizes Maryland’s most successful development projects that are truly unique, innovative, and visionary. Ashton Design is proud to have created the environmental graphics for three of this year’s eight winning projects.

    Projects were judged by a committee of 15 Baltimore professionals who evaluated the projects’ sense of place, design quality, use of sustainable practices, and overall vision. Below are Ashton Design’s three winning projects.



    Client: Maryland Institute College of Art
    Architect: Hord Coplan Macht
    Environmental Graphics: Ashton Design

    Watch the video presented at the event for Leake Hall at MICA, featuring interviews with Mike Molla and Chris Harvey.




    Client: Terra Nova Ventures
    Architect: Alexander Design Studio
    Environmental Graphics: Ashton Design

    Watch the video presented at the event for Mount Vernon Mill No. 1, featuring interviews with David Tufaro and Jennifer Tufaro Nolley.




    Client: The Bozzuto Group
    Architect: Hord Coplan Macht
    Interior: Patrick Sutton
    Environmental Graphics: Ashton Design

    Watch the video presented at the event for Crosswinds at Annapolis Towne Centre, featuring an interview with Toby Bozzuto.



    This year’s other winning projects included the Everyman Theatre, The Gunther Apartments, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Social Security Administration, and the UMBC Performing Arts & Humanities Building.


  • alexey 12:20 pm on October 8, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , event, , , , ,   

    2014 ULI WaveMaker Awards 

    Each year the Urban Land Institute of Baltimore, ULI Baltimore, hosts its WaveMaker Awards event that recognizes local real estate development projects, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This year’s event on Thursday, October 9, will be held at the newly completed Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

    Ashton Design helped with creating the identity, print, and digital marketing materials for the event, in conjunction with ULI Baltimore and Bozzuto. The campaign incorporated a “play” on words through phrases inspired by casino games. The printed save-the-date invitation featured a scratch-off ticket that revealed the date of the event.



    Last year, two of Ashton Design’s projects were ULI 2013 WaveMaker Award Recipients; Baltimore Design School and Union Wharf Apartments.

    For behind-the-scenes footage and information about the projects, watch Toby Bozzuto explain the vision behind Union Wharf and Steve Ziger and Fred Lazarus discuss the inception of the Baltimore Design School, through the videos shown at last year’s event.

    ULI’s mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. They have long been recognized as one of America’s most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth and development.

    See you at the event!

  • Jenny Hoffman 7:50 am on October 7, 2014 Permalink  

    Ashton Design’s Oktoberfest 

    01_Ashton_OktoberfestThe first Oktoberfest took place in 1810 when the citizens of Munich celebrated the union of the prince and princess of Bavaria. This past Friday Ashton Design wasn’t celebrating a marriage per se but rather the union of an entire group of people — the Ashton Design team. Our Oktoberfest held at David Ashton’s Gentle Farm in southern Pennsylvania included typical German/Bavarian fare, plenty of beer, horseback riding (horse races were part of the original Oktoberfest), and even some competitive badminton. Most importantly it was a good day spent with an amazing group of talented individuals whom we are happy to call good friends.


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