OI Rebrand

Reimagining a 100-year-old icon.

The OI has been the epicenter for the study of ancient Middle Eastern civilizations since 1919. Yet, despite its impressive achievements, the OI has remained a hidden gem, with many Chicagoans unaware of the vast treasures contained within or just how much the OI has to offer those curious about the ancient past.

The approach of the OI’s centennial presented the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate this iconic institution’s brand, while attracting a whole new group of visitors, donors, volunteers, adult learners, and history enthusiasts.

In this 360-degree campaign, UChicago Creative served as the University’s central creative strategic lead on both the rebrand and the Centennial Celebration Initiative. In close partnership with the OI and University Communications, UChicago Creative worked to inform the integrated brief, select additional creative partners, and consult with the various vendors to ensure creative quality, integrity, and consistency.

Bringing it to life.

UChicago Creative also led the charge to create a new and robust set of brand guidelines for the OI going forward. We took the newly approved logo and centennial mark and provided the framework for how these marks are best utilized in a variety of applications from stationery and signage to web, digital, and merchandise applications. By providing the OI with this robust toolkit, we ensured they will be able to maintain brand integrity far beyond their centennial anniversary.

In addition, UChicago Creative shot and edited a documentary-style video depicting the return of a 2,500-year-old relief sculpture to the OI. As part of the centennial celebration, the video features a narrative from the OI’s director, Christopher Woods, while mixing historic photography with modern footage of the iconic statue’s journey back to our campus.

Next up, UChicago Creative designed a suite of new merchandise for the gift shop, environmental signage, and collateral pieces that fit seamlessly within the new campaign and identity of the OI. Helping to strengthen and reinforce the brand at every turn.

The results of this collaborative effort have yet to be fully realized, but so far the OI has met their goals for event attendance, while also seeing upticks in engagement and museum visits.


Oriental Institute



Strategic Creative Leadership
Brand Guidelines


“Uncover the Past” campaign by creative partner Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co., Chicago, IL

Creative work by partner agency Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co., Chicago, IL

Videos and collateral by UChicago Creative

Logo created by creative partner Lipman Hearne