In October 2015, Mural Arts Philadelphia launched Open Source, the largest public art exhibition in Philadelphia’s history. Guest curator Pedro Alonzo helped select and coordinate a series of public installations from 14 international artists. Open Source set out to explore Philadelphia’s unique urban identity through a variety of topics including immigration, recycling, mass incarceration, the environment, community reinvestment, and displacement. The world-renowned lineup of artists included JR, Shepard Fairey, MOMO, Odili Donald Odita, and more. 

J2 was brought on to create a unique brand for Open Source and establish the look and feel of the project throughout the city. The new brand appeared on flyers, advertisements, social media, and billboards; it also branded the Open Source Hub exhibit space at the Graham Building, an immersive design experience featuring the artists, their history, and details about the work they were creating for the duration of the exhibit. 

J2 and Mural Arts also created Open Source: A Citywide Public Art Exhibition, a 168-page Smyth sewn softcover book to commemorate the exhibition, celebrate the artists, and drive fundraising. The book includes essays, project details, brilliant photography from Steve Weinik, and more information about the events surrounding Mural Arts Month 2015 and Open Source.

The design of the Open Source brand plays with geometric shapes in a simple color palette. The name contained within bounding boxes is meant to symbolize the tension of taking art off gallery walls and out into the street. The book takes a simple, elegant approach to the concept, with light washes as section markers, a simple circular font taken from the Open Source brand, and transitions using large pull quotes and photos of place, process, and texture.

The cover features JR’s 15-story Migrants, Ibrahim wheatpaste integrated into Philly’s skyline. A yellow bar, part of the brand color palette, wraps the cover and spine, overflowing to a simple black back cover. 

Section One features essays by Mural Arts Executive Director, Jane Golden, Open Source Curator, Pedro Alonzo, and Teddy Cruz, architect, urbanist, and professor. Design elements include a light grey full-page wash, boxed pull quotes, and a more reserved photo template. Transitions between each section include bold, full-bleed photography by Steve Weinik that show place, process, and textures of each piece.

Section Two pushes the grids of the brand with changing photo sizes and placement and bold two-page spread quotes in vibrant colors on bright white pages. Each artist is highlighted with a portrait, photos of their work, event or process shots, and quotes.

Mural Arts Open source book
Mural Arts Open source book
Mural Arts Open source book

The final section is a photojournalistic approach to an overview of the programming during Mural Arts Month, which ran in conjunction with Open Source. Images with captions help document the workshops, artist talks, and celebrations. It also features The Hub, the main gathering space for the programmatic elements related to this month-long event. The tinted yellow pages complement the full brand colors and help delineate this section.

Mural Arts Open source book
Mural Arts Open source book

If you’re interested in grabbing your own copy of Open Source: A Citywide Public Art Exhibition, check out the Mural Arts online shop or contact Gingko Press, the Berkeley-based distributor for a full list of store placements.

CLIENT: Mural Arts Philadelphia
QUANTITY PRODUCED: 1,000
PRODUCTION TIME: 1 Month
DIMENSIONS (WIDTH × HEIGHT): 7.5 x 10 inches
PAGE COUNT: 168
PAPER STOCK: Interior: 100# Anthem Plus Matte; Text Cover: Cover: 24# Tango C1S Cover
NUMBER OF COLORS: 4/4
VARNISHES: Aqueous Coating
BINDING: Smyth sewn, soft cover
TYPOGRAPHY: Circular