Lenfest Center for the Arts (Columbia University)

The Lenfest Center is not only a cultural beacon for the School of the Arts but for the whole of Columbia University. It will further solidify Columbia’s status as an influencer across the artistic research and performance practice worlds. To introduce this new giant in the Manhattanville Campus, we designed and developed a strong brand and visual identity paired with an immersive, responsive website.


Designer of logo, brand identity and responsive website.


PM: Devin Drumheller

Strategy: Julien Touafek

Developer: Dace Willmot



The Lenfest Center for the Arts logo needed to be elegant yet bold, extravagant yet simple, unpretentious yet memorable. We were inspired not only by the building’s iconic shape but also by its inclusive and liberal ethos.



The iconic asymmetrical structure, designed by Renzo Piano,  is easy to recognize and remember. The logo and design thinking behind this system is based on filling the negative space around the building in order to reveal the building’s shape.  This play on space allows the bulding’s shape itself to be an empty space surrounded by 2 “bracket-like” graphic elements. The building’s empty shape can then become a free space where art can be manifested in many forms.



After presenting System 1, the client was concerned that the building’s shape was overshadowing the Lenfest name. Through sketching and designing other alternatives, the client decided that the following logo represents the Lenfest name and spirit in an unique but simple way.



To guide us through the UX and Visual Design we focused on solving three important needs; Awareness, Engagement and Fluidity. Awareness in the need to design a cohesive brand identity that would reinforce Columbia University Lenfest Center for the Arts as a leader in the art world. Engagement in designing a seamless UX to facilitate the discovery and exploration of Lenfest’s many events. Fluidity in designing a pattern library consisting of modules and components flexible and easy enough for the Lenfest team to update and change.



The calendar of events is designed to be flexible and user friendly. The day cells expand to accommodate different daily events. The user is able to discover future and past events easily by clicking back and forth on the arrows. Upon hovering on a specific event, a small container reveals additional information about the event and entices the user further to see more details.



A right side column reveals precise details such as times, location, social sharing and ticket purchasing. Similar or future events are also included in this column. The vast description takes place on the wider left column. Both columns accommodate all kinds of media. Also, a clear hierarchy between titles, subtitles, quotes, captions and body text allow the user’s eyes to navigate effortlessly through the page.