November 2008

Poulin + Morris Completes Newseum Freedom Forum Foundation World Headquarters in Washington, DC

Poulin + Morris completes a comprehensive graphic identity/branding, environmental graphics, and wayfinding sign program for the Newseum Freedom Forum Foundation World Headquarters located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.

The First Amendment is engraved in a 74-foot-high plane of sandblasted limestone that punctuates the building's principal glass curtain wall façade. This treatment accentuates the large-scale typography as a bas-relief and permanently displays the 45 words of the First Amendment as a timeless architectural element set in a modern context.

Wall murals located in "The Food Section," the museum's international café, depict bold, colorful, large-scale, cropped images of food such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and the like. As the visitor approaches an images, a calculated optical illusion reveals typography, consisting of thousands of small-scale words containing ingredients and fares from around the world.

The wayfinding sign program also relies upon color, texture, and pattern to define specific Museum levels and exhibition spaces. A pattern identification system was developed, coding each floor with its own well-defined identity, based on news transmission devices such as audio waves, newsprint halftone dots, and video pixels. This visual theme is also carried over to the graphic identity and branding program developed by Poulin + Morris.

The end result reflects a strong marriage between past and present, reinforcing Newseum and Freedom Forum Foundation's political, social, and historical mission.