Portfolio Pieces from my time at UArts

Kelly Murphy

I can’t believe I just typed “from my time at UArts” in the title of this blog post. As much as I am looking forward to moving onto to my professional role in the Philadelphia arts and cultural realm, I am in disbelief that my time in the Museum Studies program has come to an end, but thankful for the professional connections I have made and colleagues who have turned into friends. Thinking of my list of projects a few stick out with distinction for what they taught me about the profession and my patience.

The first project is a mock informational brochure I created in Stephanie Ryers’ Museum Graphics class. We were given a list of fictional Museum’s and required to complete a graphic marketing plan. Below is the logo I developed as well as the brochure. 

Logo for Carrot Museum.
Inside of Carrot Museum Brochure.


Continuing in the design realm is Graduate Project. After working for a semester with a diverse team I was and am I extremely proud of what we all accomplished within the exhibition and communication elements. Specifically the advertisements that I created for the Marketing campaign and my planned gala. This project pushed me to my design limits- however having been out of school and into the “real world” job wise, prior to my acceptance to UArts, I thrived in the team work environment and learned what is most likely in front of me within nonprofit/museum work. 

Mock Baggage Claim Exhibition Advertisement.

A project that was a complete blend of my strategic planning, programming, design, and Communications skills was a semester long project completed in our Issues class. This class allowed each student to pick a city, a museum, and a need based on an audit of the current situation, where we looked at missions, audience, programming, and accessibility of our chosen institutions. While completing this project, I realized that through this program I obtained the skills necessary to draft a solid need statement in the non-profit practice and that I was beginning to understand the way museums/institutions/non-profits operate within their direct community, the Museum Community and the greater for profit community as well. I chose to work with the Minneapolis Institute and draft a plan for engagement programming towards the Native American Youth Community within the Museums direct neighbor hood. Below is the logo I created for the programming as well as excerpts from my plan. 


Inside of Final Report for MIA Native American Youth Programming with Logo Treatment.

Lastly, a project that hits closer to home was a team project where myself and two other team members strategically planned a media schedule, advertising plan, and graphic design elements, including merchandise for a new membership level that we implemented at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. This project was a graphic challenge. Once we had settled on a need (a young student group due to the recent merging with Drexel University) it was hard to pair an Academy of Sciences image (academic heavy) with a younger fresh look that also worked as an identifier. After weeks of critiques with our class we threw a hail Mary and days before the final presentation through out our previous design iterations and went into a different direction at the hesitation from our professors. The end result was a graphic treatment and plan that coincided perfectly with our goals. We hoped that younger University students would be able to identify with the Academy as being a part of their various scholastic communities and also as a part of the Philadelphia community due to the Academy’s deep city roots. We chose a strand of DNA to iterate through our materials and sold the presentation well enough that the Marketing Representative from the Academy stated that our work had serious potential for a campaign and that she would be in touch. It was a completely rewarding project. 


Collegiate Club Logo.

Collegiate Club Logo with tagline on mock Penn University Campus photo.

I feel that all of the of these projects relate to the principles of Museum Communication through their components of group collaboration as well as independent creativity. I use the term creative loosely, not just in the sense of graphic elements but in the core of strategic planning for your institution. It in a time of increased economic inflexibility, Museums and non-profit institutions have to be creative with their ideas and their resources in employing their mission and working towards their goals both on paper and through visitorship/stewardship.

Thanks for reading!