The nature of upstate New York inspires Athletics’ new identity for Catskill Art Society

Athletics has created an identity that creates a welcoming feel for both the centres local community and inner city New Yorkers further afield.

3 January 2023


Catskill Art Space (CAS) is a community arts centre located in leafy upstate New York. Founded in 1971, the space is also one that prides itself on having deep roots within its local community, providing an open cultural destination for locals, while also attracting New York’s art lovers from the centre of the city. In its time, the space has seen exhibitions from the likes of James Turrell and Sol LeWitt. To see in a new era, Catskill enlisted the help of Athletics studio to develop a new brand identity that would “reflect CAS’s future ambitions, while remaining true to their local heart and soul”, a press release details.

Summarising the core driving force behind the identity, Catskill’s Executive Director Sally Wright says, “We’re trying to open the doors in a way, so more people will come in,” adding that, “It’s challenging, breaking down the perceptions of what an art gallery or art centre is". To create such a welcoming feel to the identity, Athletics focused on a readable wordmark, a versatile typeface and a subtly toned, nature-inspired palette.

As primary inspiration for the rebrand, Athletics looked to CAS’s local environment, aiming to “honour” its luscious nature. The CAS wordmark flows gesturally to emulate the river that runs through the town, the fly fishing lines that can be found throughout the large fishing community, and realised in a vernacular style as a nod to the handmade signs. Easily adaptable, the wordmark is readable and in the form of monogram for smaller, personalised moments. Moreover, the colour palette is purposefully naturalistic prioritising warm, muted tones in varying shades at its forefront. Moments of red, purple and green are added for “visual impact” and “key communications”, the press release expands.

Throughout the rest of the identity, Athletics used Lars Extended Light as the primary typeface for its versatility and ease of use. “With universal appeal and contemporary sophistication, Lars gives CAS a typographic voice that will complement and reinforce their wide variety of creative exhibitions and performances,” the press release outlines. Alongside the digital moments, the identity sees its full potential in the newly renovated physical arts space.

GalleryAthletics: Catskill Arts Centre Identity (Copyright @ Athletics, 2022)

GalleryAthletics: Catskil

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Athletics: Catskill Arts Centre Identity (Copyright @ Athletics, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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