BEHIND THE SCENES: DESIGNING AN EMBLEM FOR HAMILTON'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY

In 2024, Hamilton enters its 25th year as a museum! "Rooted in History: 25 Years of the Hamilton Museum" is our celebration theme. We will be celebrating throughout the year with collections highlights, event tie-ins, merchandise, and more.  

We asked Brad Vetter (Brad Vetter Design) to design a 25th anniversary emblem that reflects our strong foundation and continued growth. He knocked it out of the park and we appreciate the design chops and "Ham Pride" energy that he brought to the project!

Instagram: @bradvetter

Read on to hear Brad describe his approach to arrive at his final design. This design will be soon be available on merchandise including posters and a limited-edition run of makeready posters — more information about merch and poster availability is coming soon!

It was such an honor to be asked to create some designs to celebrate HWT&PM’s 25th anniversary. It feels like just yesterday that I created prints for the 10th anniversary while at Hatch Show Print! This design brings together so many things that I strive for in my own work—geometric shapes, historic printing elements, and star bars!



The design began with the shapes forming the number 25. After about 75 iterations, I found the balance of playfulness and legibility we were looking for. The modularity of the numbers sent me right to Louise Fili’s Mardell for the Hamilton headline.

 

My practice finds me bouncing back and forth between digital and analog throughout the design process. To incorporate natural textures and details, some elements were printed from my own collection of type, cuts, and borders. 

 

Other elements were scanned from specimen books or inspired by photos from Hamilton: for example, the “Two Rivers, Wis.” type is pulled straight from a piece of luggage in the museum’s collection.



Having such a strong connection to the museum and the folks surrounding Hamilton pushed me to make something that not only am I proud of, but also something that has meaning and significance to this wonderful community of printers and friends.

 

Alongside the 5-color posters, we made a small run of 25 super special makeready prints. Makereadies are first used to get the ink and registration just right on a print, then I’ll print some extras to get the excess ink off the press.


The results are these random/colorful/chaotic/beautiful messes of ink and paper. The makeready sheets were then printed with the final dark teal (key) of the original 'Hamilton 25' poster, perfectly framing the elements of the makeready and turning the chaos into a completely one-of-a-kind poster! 

[More information about merch and poster availability is coming soon!]

« Back to the Blog