Last year, we were honored to contribute to the major renovation of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority’s corporate office, called the Ivy Center, located in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago. To celebrate the makeover and their 100 year anniversary as an organization, AKA hosted a ribbon cutting center and open house on May 4, 2018. We were asked to take part in the facility’s facelift by designing a new history wall, framing portraits of their founders and past presidents, reframing their existing art collection, and installing all of these elements in the renovated building.
This week, we wanted to take a moment to explain the process of designing and installing a history timeline wall like the legacy wall featured at the AKA Ivy Center. Many corporations, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and even small businesses have never been through the legacy wall design process before, and our work on the AKA timeline wall serves as a great example of how the process works.
The AKA sorority has deep roots here in Chicago, as the organization was formed by nine college students at Howard University one hundred years ago. Since its foundation in 1908, AKA has grown to over 300,000 members with a global reach across over 1,000 individual chapters. With so much history to condense into just one display, we worked closely with the corporate office leaders to narrow down the most significant events and milestones they wanted to feature in the timeline wall. We also asked the organization’s leaders to provide us with their style guide and brand standards so we could incorporate important elements such as their preferred colors and fonts, their signature ivy design motif, and references to significant symbols such as pearls and the Pink Tea Rose.
After our team presented several design concepts to the AKA leaders, the sorority chose the layout and vision they felt best represented their organization’s identity. Then we worked with the sorority leaders to finalize the written content which would be included in the design and to find images and graphics to bring the timeline to life. We included dimensional elements such as photos of the founding members, past issues of the Ivy Leaf newsletter, the membership pin, and historic event programs to accompany many of the timeline elements. We even encased some of these pieces, such as books written about the sorority, in acrylic boxes to draw attention to their significance.
Once the full design was complete, our team installed the display at the Ivy Center. The background graphics, most of the text elements, and many of the images such as the seal and ivy leaves were printed on a seamless wall covering. We then installed the dimensional graphics and boxed elements on top.
If your organization or company would like to celebrate its history with a legacy or timeline wall, send us a message online. We would be happy to consult with your team to design a custom wall for your facility, or answer further questions you have about the entire process. You can also see some of the other historical timeline walls and graphics art program projects we have designed in our online portfolio.Let's Be Friends:
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