All Posts in Uncategorized

September 28, 2015 - Comments Off on Ashton Design is One of Five Finalists in New City Gateway Signage Contest

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

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.

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.



May 7, 2014 - Comments Off on The Campaign for Calvert School

The Campaign for Calvert School

Calvert School and Ashton Design are happy to announce the successful completion of the Building on Strength Campaign. Through the generosity of Calvert School’s extraordinary community, the $20,000,000 goal was surpassed and $20,131,710 was raised.

Ashton Design is proud to have been involved in helping achieve this goal through the conceptual design and implementation of both printed collateral and the campaign website. This five-year plan included a different conceptual brochure each year. While the message of the Building on Strength Campaign stayed consistent over the years, the concept, style and photography changed from year to year. This fresh approach added interest and garnered continued support.


Through this Campaign, the Annual Fund grew from $750,000 to $1,000,000, and now accounts for an impressive 6.8 percent of the operating budget. A strong Annual Fund helps the school mitigate future tuition increases without compromising the quality of a Calvert education.


The impact of the Building on Strength Campaign is far-reaching and has helped facilitate many new endeavors at the school including the new two-story Nancy A. Hopkins Wing which boasts spacious classrooms, a multipurpose room for group activities, and faculty workrooms.

Calvert School is a co-educational private school with a day school operation in Baltimore, Maryland. The school is located in Tuscany-Canterbury, a residential neighborhood in Baltimore City just north of Johns Hopkins University and south of Loyola University Maryland. The 13-acre campus is comprised of lower and middle school facilities.

March 31, 2014 - Comments Off on Ashton Design Added to Baseball Hall of Fame

Ashton Design Added to Baseball Hall of Fame

Camden Yards Design Documents Acquired by Cooperstown Collection


Oriole Park at Camden Yards continues to be the benchmark by which all great sports stadiums are measured. Just last week, more than 20 years after the stadium’s first Opening Day, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, named Camden Yards one of the two best MLB ballparks in the U.S.

Now Baltimore has one more reason to celebrate its world-famous stadium: the iconic signage and other design elements developed by Ashton Design for the stadium’s 1992 opening are being added to the holdings of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.


The museum’s Accessions Committee “is charged with accepting only those items of historic significance which support the Museum’s education and exhibit programs.” Original drawings were submitted for consideration by the Committee at the end of January, and they were enthusiastically accepted into the museum’s permanent collection. The donation was officially recorded on March 17, 2014.

The acquisition is comprised of nearly 100 pieces, including original hand sketches David Ashton did onsite, while touring Oriole Park at Camden Yards during construction, hand colored presentation mechanicals, and blueprints. It includes everything from the 3 1/2-foot tall steel letters that adorn the stadium’s facade to the usher’s uniforms. The materials track the design progression of some of the stadium's most iconic elements including the scoreboard clock and Oriole weathervanes.




This was one of the last projects at Ashton Design to be completed entirely without the use of a computer, and is very likely one of the last stadium environmental graphic design projects to be done by hand.

The materials are now housed in the Archives and Manuscript Collection of the Museum’s library—a research center that contains more than three million documents relating to baseball history. The drawings will likely make their way to the Museum’s exhibition space someday where they could be displayed with artifacts from some of the game’s most sacred ballparks, both past and present.




The first sketch: This preliminary scoreboard sketch was done by David Ashton during the initial site visit with Orioles stadium planner, Janet Marie Smith.

Related links:
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Ed Smith Stadium
Dempsey's Brew Pub

Brian P. Miller