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Diagonally: The primary mission of the School of Art and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky is to link the study of art and visual culture to the broad aims of the University’s undergraduate liberal arts tradition by providing world-class instruction in the history, theory, and practice of art. To this basic mission SA/VS adds opportunities for advanced study through undergraduate professional programs and graduate instruction. The school aims to educate all of their students not just to be competitive in arts-related careers as professional artists, educators, and scholars, but also to prepare them for future challenges in fields outside the arts; and to foster their future endeavors as audiences and patrons of the arts. 

Through research and service SA/VS maintains it’s long and distinguished tradition of contributing to the cultural matrix of the Commonwealth. As researchers and creative individuals they strive to advance the frontiers of knowledge in their respective disciplines, achieving and maintaining recognition at the regional, national, and international levels. 

The school serves the campus and wider community by bringing what they have learned home to Kentucky, through professional exhibitions and by sharing our knowledge and experiences as contributors to the local and regional arts landscapes. 

The School of Art and Visual Studies’ award-winning renovated building preserves the local history of its 1899 origins as a tobacco processing plant while also being full of open and airy spaces meant to foster creativity.

I knew that they would need a modern, simple and adaptive identity system to showcase a wide range of events, exhibitions and lectures.


The slash in the acronym became the obvious choice to turn into the basis of the schools visual identity system. The slash became larger than life as a separator of content, window for images and counter point for striking and compelling images typical of a renowned art community. The diagonals, rhombuses and lines broke the confines of the grid and yet helped organize the information. The slash became important in the way-finding and signage applications as well. 

Knowing that there would be an endless stream of inspiring images to work with inherent to visual arts, we let the images dictate the color palette without any reservations. The shapes remained constant but the colors shifted with each piece.

The end result is that any event associated with the school was instantly recognizable. There was also a sense of community and acceptance apparent in the students, faculty, visiting artists and patrons alike. They belonged and owned the slash.

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