The New Muse Brand
New Year, New Brand, New Era of Literary Arts for Hampton Roads.
The original Muse logo was designed by Executive Director and founder Michael Khandelwal on the back of a napkin in 2005. Since then, The Muse has grown exponentially — and had expanded even more in 2020 and 2021, thanks to the move to virtual classes and events during the pandemic. To match the center’s growth, in 2021 The Muse debuted a refreshed logo, website and mission statement.
The new logo maintains the iconic lightning bolt sketched on that napkin 17 years ago, but includes updated typography and design. The logo and other materials were developed with the assistance of Red Chalk Studios in Virginia Beach, which provided its services pro bono.
Also in 2021, The Muse was selected for the Rise & Grow grant, which included consultation with Proximo Marketing Strategies. The talented team at Proximo provided social media marketing strategic planning and produced and edited a promotional video capturing the spirit of The Muse Writers Center.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country and brought fear, uncertainty, and isolation, The Muse swiftly pivoted to providing online classes and events,” says Khandelwal. “It turned out to be a record year in attendance of our classes and events.” More than 12,000 people participated in 233 literary events in 2020, most of which were online.
“With the advent of online events and classes, we were able to broaden our reach beyond Hampton Roads, attracting students and teachers nationally, as well as in Japan, South Korea, Europe and Canada.” Approximately 20 percent of students live outside the local region.
“Our new branding is creating a more professional image for The Muse that will allow us to grow and serve more writers,” said Karen Corrigan, board president. “Our mission and internal brand statements serve as our roadmap for the future of the organization and corroborates our commitment to the community.”
“The Muse Writers Center fosters and celebrates the literary arts throughout the community through high-quality education, networking, and support for aspiring and experienced writers of all ages, backgrounds, and means; engaging and creative outreach; and diverse and culturally relevant literary events.”