The Rapidian

Peopledesign Helps Transform UICA’s Brand

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

UICA has engaged Peopledesign to help focus and re-invigorate the UICA brand. To symbolize this sharpened focus and commitment, we are unveiling a new logo design.
Underwriting support from:

/People Design/UICA

/People Design/UICA

A cornerstone of the West Michigan community since 1977, UICA is on the cusp of opening a prominent new facility in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. As part of this move, UICA has engaged Peopledesign to help focus and re-invigorate the UICA brand. To symbolize this sharpened focus and commitment, we are unveiling a new logo design.

Although there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with UICA's former logo, there has always been a readability issue where people mixed up the letter order. This issue became the driving force behind our decision to consider a brand refresh. In the end, we created something that is long lasting, accessible, graphic, and bold—without being obviously artsy. We wanted the experiences at UICA to do the speaking and let us, the organization, sit in the background. And just as many new experiences challenge us at first glance, the cropped typography makes the viewer slightly uncomfortable while giving a nod to all things that are emerging within our organization.

“When we began envisioning what UICA would mean to the region, Peopledesign was a natural voice in the conversation.” says Jeff Meeuwsen, executive director of UICA. “The firm’s established methodology in designing customer experiences was one our team wanted exposure to. Peopledesign is playing a key role in strengthening our positioning and brand story as a whole.”

Peopledesign is a leading experience design firm specializing in brand transformation, known for driving change and systemic innovation through its proven design method. Peopledesign transforms businesses by helping them conceive and produce innovative customer experiences. They work with leaders to find new sources of value through insights into customer behavior and customer experience strategy. The firm’s collaboration with UICA promises to inspire and engage the region.

“We are proud to help great organizations like UICA gain focus, tell their story, and develop a robust brand experience,” says Kevin Budelmann, Peopledesign president and co-author of Brand Identity Essentials (© 2010 Rockport Publishers). “Exposing West Michigan to new experiences is a way of contributing to a creative innovation engine for the local economy, with wonderful implications for the visibility of the region.”

UICA’s new facility – opening on July 27 – will have an even greater impact on attracting and retaining creative, urban-oriented professionals in West Michigan. In their new building, UICA will continue to focus on its core strengths as a venue for emerging artists, ideas, and culture, as well as continue to broaden its appeal to West Michigan audiences and beyond. UICA is a champion of bringing new experiences to the region, through its role as the institutional partner of ArtPrize and more than three decades of providing an outlet for new ideas that foster creative thinking and innovation.

For more information about Peopledesign, please visit Their new book is now available; learn more at

Founded in 1977, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) initiates conversation in response to visual art, music, film, literature, dance, and performance art featuring regional, national, and international artists – groundbreaking work that might not otherwise find a venue in Michigan. Visit


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Merch with the old logo? Think about it.