No discussion about the pattern of contemporary urban fabric is complete without invoking Frederick Law Olmsted. Mythologized as the father of landscape architecture, Olmsted’s legacy is, in fact, a great deal more complex, and a great deal more relevant. Today, spaces that foster civic engagement, public health, and environmental resilience are more important than ever. Ummo is thrilled to shape and spread this message on the eve of Olmsted’s bicentennial. In partnership with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and other parks stewards, we look forward to developing a new brand to inspire and mobilize the next generation of public space users.
Milton Glaser, the towering figure of 20th-century graphic design, used his materials sparingly, saying no more—and no less—than what is needed. I love NY is a master class in economy: using the least amount of space to achieve the most impact. Characteristic of Glaser’s work, it is both a first-person declaration and a universally humanistic sentiment. Glaser, who died in June at the age of 91, is an enduring source of inspiration in our studio. “There are three responses to a piece of design,” he once said: “yes, no, and WOW!” At its best, design can reveal meaning, strengthen a purpose, build power. That is the “wow” towards which we at Ummo are ever striving.
At ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) 2020, Ummo will get to share our thoughts on the topic we care most deeply about. Join us at a workshop, moderated by our Philip Barash, entitled “Brand with Purpose: The Creative Economy Finds Its Voice” on Wednesday November 4, 1:30 – 3:00 pm. We are stoked to be joined by our favorite fellow-branders from Moth and Gensler, as well as friends from the Boston Center for the Arts and MAAM, the new museum at MassArts.
The journey towards liberation is never-ending. On this Juneteenth, we at Ummo are taking the time to reflect on the difficult path towards freedom and solidarity. As the medieval Persian poet Saadi reminds us, we are all on this journey together.
COVID may have driven us indoors, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t continuing to live and breathe by public spaces. In an essay for Landscape Architecture Magazine, Philip Barash reflected on the changing public realm in Boston.
Sure, there’s Gregorian New Year, when we pop all the corks; Julian New Year, observed by Boston’s populous russophone diaspora; Lunar New Year, whose colors radiate heat; and Rosh Hashana, which gives us an excuse for apple picking in Vermont. In the drab days of March, though, we get down with Nowruz — a way to cheat winter and honor the many cultural traditions that come together at Ummo.
Ummo is typically mum on the mysteries of our typography. But Ummo partner Matt Uminski, Prometheus-like, brought the secrets of type to the mortal world in an article for our friends at Visualizing Architecture.
Four years before Deborah Sussman made “supergraphics” a household term (at least in Ummo’s household), the 1980 Moscow Olympiad created an idealized vision of the Soviet city. We came across an original set of posters and postcards in our ceaseless search for inspiration, and have been in a state of creative collusion ever since.
Ummo’s identity for Maketank made an appearance on the reddish (maroon, dare we say?) carpet of ABX, New England’s annual architecture convention. We were happy to hear a panel discussion dedicated to place branding, moderated by Philip Barash. And we were thrilled to see Ummo friend Gina Ford, of Agency LP, recognized with the prestigious Women in Design Award of Excellence.