[Morristown, NJ, May 31] – Smith Design is thrilled to have worked in collaboration with End of Elm, Morristown Partnership, and Levitate Creative Services to sponsor Morristown’s first public mural bringing color, optimism and art to Morristown, New Jersey.
Smith Design is a full-service strategic brand design agency with over 40 years of experience creating breakthrough visual and verbal solutions, from strategy to packaging and identity work to complete omnichannel activations. We aim to unlock the power of design to create value, build brands, and contribute to a better world. We embrace a purpose in our work and culture and believe that design is at its best when it’s a force for good which is why we make a conscious and collective effort to translate our values into actions that benefit our staff, clients, and community.
Smith Design works to support many organizations locally and was looking for a bigger initiative that could inspire the larger community. “Smith Design has always been committed to supporting creative endeavors and our community at large, whether it be through mentorship and resources for art programs in schools, providing art supplies and lessons to non-profit organizations, or our most recent initiative, bringing a radiant and joyful art installation and experience to the town we call home”. – President, CEO Jenna Smith
Our Executive Assistant & Food Stylist, Grace Peluso has been the lead for our give back initiatives with the help of our Human Resources Director, Suzanne Trowbridge. Grace explained the process of how the Mural came into fruition, “after completing our 40th Anniversary Give Back project, we discussed the possibility of undertaking a larger philanthropic project to create a more significant impact. An idea emerged to showcase the skills and talents of our creative team here at Smith Design by creating a mural in the community. To explore this further, I reached out to Jennifer Wehring from the Morristown Partnership, asking her to keep us in mind if she came across a mural opportunity within the community. Fortunately, Jennifer found a potential project for us. However, our plans were put on hold due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a temporary shutdown of activities. Once we were able to resume our operations and regain our momentum, Jennifer and I revisited the mural idea. That’s when Paul Haley, owner of End of Elm’s, building came up, and it turned out to be the perfect canvas for our project.”
Jennifer Wehring & Karen Roettger at Morristown Partnership expressed that they are pleased to have brought together the members at End of Elm, Motown Props and Smith Design to collaborate on this public mural. In keeping with the Morristown Partnership’s mission, this space will enhance the community and be enjoyed by all those residing, working, and visiting downtown Morristown. The End of Elm’s building was the perfect place to create the first public mural, given the visible location and their enthusiasm for the arts.
Smith Design’s President & CEO Jenna Smith, and Designer Jessica Murray led the creative process of the design for the Mural. “Keeping in mind the community guidelines, we created a design that portrays the theme of ‘celebration’ visually, derived from interactive shapes and fun bright colors. Our overall inspiration for the mural was fueled by everyday things and a playful mixture of imagination. It is so rewarding to be a part of providing an engaging and optimistic sense of happiness to Morristown!” – Jessica Murray
Our Digital Marketing Coordinator, Sara Bellog assisted in the project management of the mural from start to finish and led the social and PR initiatives in collaboration with the Morristown Partnership & End of Elm.
With alignment on the mood boards and feedback, Illustrator John Thompson created the first design concept which was then built on. Senior Designer, Becki Murray was tapped into the project to help with finalizing the design and colorways. “We explored many options from simple to more complex and landed somewhere in the middle, from there we explored variations of colors that would emote joy and fun. The design we created was feasible enough for everyone to participate in the painting and creative process.” – Becki Murray
Included are some of the initial design concepts that were created and built upon. When looking at the design of the Mural, one of the obstacles that we faced was following the Morristown Guidelines – there could not be any type of designs or words that could potentially reflect meaning behind the art, whether it be about Morristown, political or religious views, etc. The art could also not exhibit any advertising initiatives. With that, we decided to go a more abstract route that generally brought a feeling of creativity, happiness, and color to the town.
Initial Design Concepts:
From there, we aligned on options 1 and 2 and tested out some color ways including bright primary colors and jewel tones.
Ultimately after going back and forth with feedback and perfecting our design and colors, we landed on our final design and color way that is now visible to all of Morristown, located at 140-150 Morris Street on Olyphant Place.
With the help of Levitate Creative Studios, team members at Smith Design volunteered their time and efforts to painting the Mural: Jenna Smith, Jason Schwerdt, Grace Peluso, Melissa Mullin Sadowski, Miles Hoffman, Mike Doyle, Julianne Brown, Becki Murray, Jessica Murray, Sara Bellog, Marissa Cook.
We are honored to be a part of this historic initiative that we hope brings color, joy, creativity, and inspiration to the streets of Morristown.
End of Elm:
Levitate Creative Studios:
At Smith Design, our culture is rooted in caring. We make a conscious and collective effort to translate our values into actions that benefit our staff, our clients, our community and our environment.