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American Alliance of Museums’ Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo Branding

Branding a global conference centered around social and community impact for museum professionals.
A line of people stand in front of an information booth. The primary wall reads "information center" in white over a red-to-teal gradient background.
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Client Type

Non-profit association


Washington, DC

Services Provided

  • Accessibility
  • Branding
  • Concept Design
  • Conference Design
  • Exhibit Design

Project Team

Lead Designer

Creative Director

American Alliance of Museums (AAM)’s mission is to champion equitable and impactful museums by connecting people, fostering learning and community, and nurturing museum excellence. It is the only organization representing the entire museum field, from art and history museums to science centers and zoos. AAM champions museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward.

The AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo branding, which depicts a teal-to-red gradient background with a white organic and squiggly line spanning across. Several photos of social media posts and photos from the conference follow.

What the Client Needed

AAM sought a design partner to brand and design materials for its Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo ranging from concept design to booth design to social media pieces to advertisements.

The four themes from the conference—Possibility, Planet, Power, and People—have a gradient rectangle surrounding each subject of the photo—a rocket, a butterfly and flower, a triceratops skull, and a father holding his daughter, respectfully. The following images contain photos of the branded gradient exhibit panels, signage, and resource center desk at the Annual Meeting.

What We Did

  • Hosted an initial kickoff meeting for the conference design concepts to get on the same page about a shared vision for the project.
  • Researched the location of the event, conference branding, and exhibition signage to elicit concept ideas.
  • Delivered two in-depth concept designs and brand boards that varied greatly in design, one of which to be selected to move forward with.
  • Set up the final design concept to be easily workable for AAM to apply the graphics to its own collateral beyond the scope. This included branding for the overarching motif of the meeting, Social and Community Impact, along with uniquely designed graphics for the meeting’s programming divided into four thematic tracks: People, Planet, Power, and Possibility
  • Built out several digital images and files, including advertisements, several social media pieces, and a web page design for the Annual Meeting.
  • Built out print collateral that included signage, exhibit panels, booths and storefronts, and various annual meeting programs.
Six images from the Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo are featured, including the registration desk, various signage, AAM's bookstore facade, and a printed welcome booklet. The following image shows two Twitter posts and two Instagram posts using the conference branding.

Our Impact

“The Brevity & Wit team executing our AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo design was so organized and brimming with creativity throughout—from the introduction of the first brand concepts to delivering dozens of deliverables in an organized, clear way. Being practiced in design, I can recognize and truly appreciate that they stay true to the gorgeous concept, gave us the building blocks to execute in so many places with appropriate variety, and how they delivered such accurate deliverables for all of our varying print and digital needs, down to every last spec.”

Rachel Lee, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications

“The theme for our Annual Meeting this year, Social & Community Impact, was conveyed beautifully through the design concepts Brevity & Wit created for us. By combining strong museum imagery with playful and easy to adapt elements, we were able to have a wide breadth of design assets so that our marketing materials never became stale, but always felt cohesive and identifiable. Working with the Brevity & Wit team is always a treat—they’re creative, thoughtful, responsive, and reliable.”

Natanya Khashan, AAM’s Senior Director of Audience Development & Engagement

Three photos from the conference each display the gradient branding across wall panels, recycling receptacles, and suspended way-finding signage.

Every year, AAM hosts its Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo where nearly 4,000 museum professionals gather to connect with colleagues, share ideas, attend sessions, and deepen their practice. In partnership with AAM, Brevity & Wit created the branding for the 2023 conference which was held in Denver, CO.

The 2023 Meeting & MuseumExpo focused on Social and Community Impact, with programming divided into four thematic tracks: People, Planet, Power, and Possibility. Museum professionals would be able to attend sessions and apply the principles of social impact within their own context and community, as well as be provided with tangible tools and outcomes to bring back home. In turn, the branding needed to highlight the focus of the event, as well as graphically depict each of the four themes.

We landed on a design using a colorful gradient and a squiggly, organic line that ran through each graphic and piece of collateral. The gradient used AAM’s color palette, while the line that looped through each image served as a graphic system. It was able to snake around people in various photos, emphasizing “social” and “community,” as well as objects and text.

The four thematic tracks integrated the same gradient, uniting it to its parent brand, but used a rectangle instead of a soft line to highlight the focal point of the graphic. Brevity & Wit thoughtfully curated each photo and track pairing, knowing that they would be used across large exhibit panels and across social media platforms (the triceratops was first discovered outside of Denver, which is why it’s the poster child for the Power track).

Once both of these designs were established, they were applied to print and digital advertisements, a landing page, booklets, signage, large exhibit panels—including a bookstore and resource center, programs, email, slide decks, and social media posts. We ensured that the design of each graphic, as well as the brand concept, could be easily edited and applied by non-designers at AAM.

AAM staff noticed a number of excited attendees sharing the gradient graphics compared to past years, perhaps due to the variety of graphic and image options to choose from. Several attending organizations shared the various graphics on their social media channels (such as this image and the thematic graphic for People), and some even applied the branded graphic elements—on their own accord—over their own images for posts. There seemed to be a clear excitement for the brand, look, and feel of the annual meeting.