On Oct. 26 the Honolulu chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, held its awards ceremony for its biannual AIGA Hawaii 5-0 design competition. That night, we found out we won a “Top 5″ award on Instagram! (Official list of winners is not yet online.)

The man behind the work is Jared Stone, our staff graphic designer. Jared joined the museum in September 2011 and has radically redesigned and updated the museum’s visuals. Working with director Stephan Jost and me (I’m the director of communications) he singlehandedly created the museum’s new, post-merger, new-name logo and brand guidelines. That’s a job normally done by a big team for six figures. (I contacted a well-known museum brand strategist on the mainland who quoted a price of $150,000 to do a rebranding project for the museum.) We did it in-house for under $50,000—most of that went toward producing new signs and printing new letterhead and collateral.

For the competition, we entered materials from the rebranding, the invitation to our ConTempo benefit, the graphic elements for the 2011 exhibition Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Forbidden City, and our catalogue Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai‘i Pictures. We were honored to learn we received a Top 5 award for the installation, and a Top 50 award for the rebranding project and the ConTempo invitation.

“It’s been a busy 2+ years for me as the museum’s graphic designer. A workload like this at any other studio, and my hairline would have receded even farther,” says Jared (who is very humorous, as you can read). “But this design position is different—the museum is both calming and inspiring for me. Huge workload? Take a break and walk through the contemplative, open-air courtyards. In a creative rut? Head to any of the incredible galleries showcasing international-caliber visual art, see a film or a performance in the Doris Duke Theatre, or attend an artist’s or curator’s lecture. For me, designing to promote artists and their art is way more gratifying than designing to promote other material commodities. This museum is dedicated to artistic creativity, and having access to it is what keeps me inspired. OK, back to work.”

When Jared landed on the museum’s doorstep, he had just arrived from Brooklyn eight months before, and was freelancing. In New York, he had worked with some of the biggest names in design—Sagmeister, Inc., (where his projects included the packaging for a special edition of David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today), Opto Design (he designed this), Doyle Partners, and Tender Creative (now part of VSA Partners). If you browse his online portfolio, you can see he’s no stranger to being a part of award-winning projects.

We’re so grateful to have him be part of the museum team.

Jared’s clean design for everything from staff badges to the members’ magazine creates a sophisticated, cohesive look for the rebranded museum.