Archives for February 2015

February 18, 2015 - Comments Off on 2014 Year in Review

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.

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