the Maryland Institute College of Art
Founded in 1826, the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore is the oldest accredited art school in the United States. MICA has educated artists for almost two centuries, from the Industrial Revolution—it was first called the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts—to the current era of digital innovation. To commemorate this incredible heritage, the school has published Making History / Making Art / MICA, a lavishly produced illustrated history designed by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, who is a member of the school’s graphic design faculty. Written by Douglas L. Frost, MICA’s Vice President for Development Emeritus, the highly readable book follows the evolution of the school’s educational program in the context of historical, technological and cultural change, and spotlights the school’s transformative role in the Baltimore community, particularly the Bolton Hill neighborhood where it is located.
The book design integrates the institutional identity designed by Miller for MICA in 2007. Bridging the school’s history, the cover of the book features the Main Building, built in 1908, wrapped in a translucent jacket of the identity’s graphic pattern, which was inspired by industrial elements in the school’s architecture and the high-tech frit of the iconic Brown Center, built in 2004. Inside, the story of the school is traced through 450 images including historical photographs, illustrations, works of art by students and faculty, building plans, artifacts and ephemera. The design uses fonts of the identity, Giza and Griffith Gothic, the latter of which was originally designed by a local designer, Chauncey Griffith. Lexicon is the text font.