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Case Study: Hennepin Theater Trust – Made Here

Let’s go window shopping.

Transforming urban blight into engaging art.
The Issue

The Hennepin Theater District in downtown Minneapolis was experiencing high turnover in its retail spaces, which was creating multiple vacant storefronts that detracted from the neighborhood’s bustling urban vibe. Their idea was to work with local artists to create one-of-a-kind installations in these spaces that would attract people downtown. Yet how could they create a connection between these often random exhibits and generate buzz at the same time?

The Insight

Since the storefronts were in dozens of different buildings, all of the installation spaces were of different sizes and depths. Yet they all shared one common element: a window. If we could “brand” the window in some way that did not interfere with the actual art we could create a clear connection between the disparate displays.

The Solution

Since these were works of art, the answer was to create a consistent framework — literally. In fact, it was an actual white adhesive vinyl frame that was put on the outside of every window with a specific ID that viewers could reference to learn more about the exhibit and interact with it via their phones. By coining it a “walking gallery” and creating an optimized mobile web experience, the connection was further reinforced. In addition, we modified the project logo to reflect the local nature of the artists.

Made Here top header
MadeHere_Introducing Minneapolis' first urban walking gallerywalkingtour
Made Here logo

“Spyglass is such a great collaborating partner. Their creative thinking, marketing experience and imagination gave us the momentum we needed to get this done and begin attracting the audience we were hoping for.”

Tom Hoch
Executive Director,
Hennepin Theatre Trust

Made Here website on desktop and mobile
Street view of Made Here
Made Here billboard
Made Here mirror
Made Here walking tour
Made Here Tour
Made Here arrow painted on the sidewalk
Made Here bus stop ad
Made Here billboard
Made Here website on an iphone
Made Here website on an iphone
Made Here website on an iphone
Made where?

When we were assigned the project, there was an existing logo that they were using. Although the logo was not initially part of the scope, we were struggling with the design that did not immediately describe where “here” was. Was it made in the building? The U.S.? So we offered to refine the logo to make sure there was no question of origin.

Made Here before and after logos

Thanks to the MadeHere art installations, many of the previously vacant storefronts are now filled with businesses of all sizes. Downtown Minneapolis continues to grow and prosper, and new art installations continue to be used to bring vitality and life to any empty spaces.

One of the greatest parts of working on Made Here was collaborating with Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Tom Hoch, Scott Mayer and Joan Vorderbruggen as well as many local artists. It reminded us of how vibrant this community is.
  • Logo
  • Identity & Brand Guidelines
  • Website
  • Exhibit Design
  • Print and Digital Advertising