Bringing increased visibility to a critical field of study and impact.


Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard

Positioning × Visual Identity × Website × Stakeholder Engagement

Role: Associate Creative Director
Studio: Bruce Mau Design

The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard is the nation's oldest research centre dedicated to the study of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans.

Over the years, the Institute grew into a hub of interdisciplinary research, preservation, and knowledge production. Under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Institute became home to the well-known Hiphop Archive and Research Institute and the Image of the Black in Western Art Archive.

In 2013, the addition of several new research enterprises and a generous gift from Glen Hutchins allowed the organization to transform into a Harvard Research Center. This change required reconsideration of the brand architecture and positioning as well as a visual identity for the newly-named Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

The team was invited to articulate the purpose of the Center, establish a brand architecture that supports the various Institutes and Archives that reside within, design a visual identity system that reflects the richness of the Center's cross-disciplinary scholarship, design the new website, and create a brand launch video to create excitement and clarity around the name-change.