The Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design was founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia) as a place to explore architecture, urban planning, and design. Through exhibitions, workshops, festivals, walking tours and its signature annual festival, DesignPhiladelphia, the Center educates the public on how design disciplines affect their daily lives.

The Center chose to rebrand in 2015 in preparation for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual conference held May 2016 in Philadelphia. The brand premiered along with the renovation of their space in the historic Young Smyth Field building at 1218 Arch Street. J2 Design was selected to do this branding work, including creating a new identity that emphasized the Center’s inclusiveness of all design fields. In addition, J2 created an exhibit to celebrate the conference, renovations and rebrand.

The new identity serves to convey the language of design.


/ (“for” = moving the design fields forward)


+ (“and” = inclusion)


The forward slash and the plus sign are just two symbols within a system of 50+ icons that stem from annotation in the design field, thus creating an iconic language of design. The symbols derive from construction documents, design programs like InDesign and more, and represent all fields: graphic design, interior design, construction, architecture, landscape design and engineering.

This clean, modern identity adds to the red AIA color palette (#ff364e) with a secondary system of navy blue (#001B7C), chartreuse (#9FC610), bright teal (#00CFB5), orange (#ffaf3a) and fuchsia (#C12BA5).

This identity expands well beyond the Center’s new logo. The icon language can be paired with particular programs or narratives to create a cohesiveness in the new space and in all branded collateral. In addition, the icons can scale up and down to be used for wall decor and Center-branded notebooks, water bottles, pencils, and more.

As the Center grows in influence, and as DesignPhiladelphia continues to attract new professionals and professions we look forward to seeing how the brand rolls out.