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Automotive Hall of Fame

A dynamic new brand identity prioritizes storytelling and audience engagement for the world’s premier automotive museum.

Composition of old black and white photos of Henry Ford, Janet Guthrie and Carl Breer

The Automotive Hall of Fame began as an association of automotive industry founders looking to honor influential people throughout their industry’s history. Today, their 25,000 square foot museum space hosts permanent and rotating exhibits complete with tours, events and a library. Such growth has created new challenges for reaching more audiences and supporters while inspiring the next generation of automotive and mobility giants. Leveraging our roots as a Detroit-based design studio, we helped them align distinct visual and verbal identities for their space, content experience and annual induction ceremony as one celebrated brand, renowned on an international scale.


In evolving their brand, the Automotive Hall of Fame had three concrete goals: re-contextualizing how they tell stories; building a strong presence; and being a global resource. Other objectives included expanding fundraising initiatives and creating one seamless cross-channel experience. We discovered a unifying moment for the museum—the Inductee Ceremony–a signature, industry-recognized spotlight for automotive leaders of note.

Building a strategic framework around this cornerstone, we developed a brand identity around “the human spirit in motion,” which expressed their passion for all forms of automotive and mobility and their desire for higher achievement. Complemented by the mantra of “Moving Stories,” this set a foundation for storytelling that captures the sense of awe in what people can do through experimentation, engineering and sheer will.

Brand Idea

The Human Spirit In Motion

An idea that is inspired by the human drive to rise to the occasion throughout history and change the world for the better. To reach out and connect with the world around us. To raise the bar and challenge ourselves to reach out and connect in new and different ways.

Brand Character

The Torchbearer

Brand Pillars

  • Excellence
  • Connection
  • Courage
  • Drive

Verbal Identity

Representing all the voices of automotive history was crucial for making fascinating telling of these moving stories. Now we had to find the voice that would narrate these stories as the voice of the Museum itself. We shaped a voice that both reflected the Museum’s passion and boldness, as it told the full truth about complicated histories and contextual accuracies. It was about bringing historic people to life and touching a personal chord in our guests.

Voice Words

  • Engaging
  • Personal
  • Passionate
  • Thoughtful

Moving Stories

We keep stories of discovery and achievement alive.
Human stories of the people who moved us.
From the horseless carriage,
to the new eras of mobility.

And while we celebrate these stories
in the context of their own time and place,
we do more than simply remember them.
But relate them to the here and now
and beyond.

By understanding their hopes, trials and determination,
the lessons they learned from their success and their failures,
we can carry these stories forward.

Sparking conversations among new generations,
whose stories will give voice to their own contributions.
To the larger narrative that connects the ideas and innovations
of where we’ve been to where we are going.

Each new story builds on the older stories.
Giving them new life.
The way one flame ignites another,
illuminating a new way forward.

Visual Identity

The visual identity our team created is a system. Bold geometric shapes and patterns, black and white as well as color photography for images, eye-catching graphics and a collage style of presentation, together became flexible, informative and timeless. For logo development, we were inspired by the odometer – a device that allowed us to use the abbreviation of the Museum’s name, AHOF, with a recognizable link to the automobile and mobility. What’s more, the framing allowed for a secondary system of visual shorthand creating a “Signature Look” that echoed the odometer brand mark.

Signature Look

The Visual Elements

For imagery, we knew that the photography would span over a century. We embraced the disparate, employing a graphic style of bold, geometric forms, patterns and collage. The use of geometrics speaks to mathematics, engineering and innovation, while patterns infuse visuals with energy. Wavy lines might suggest a ripple effect a story has on society, while straight lines repeated might signify milestones or distance. The collage technique assembled the story in a forward facing way, helping convey a heroic nature and acknowledging the accomplishments of an individual or an innovative vehicle.

Bio of Janet Guthrie is excerpted from the Wikipedia. Retrieved on December 18, 2023.


With a visual and verbal identity rooted in a strong sense of purpose and alignment, The Automotive Hall of Fame is ready for a future of meaningful automotive storytelling that will evolve with the industry. A flexible visual identity system enables Museum staff to change content quickly and confidently. A verbal identity with a bold mantra of “Moving Stories” helps tell stories that move people as effortlessly as the automobiles themselves. The new look and feel, with the power of a Hemi and the pop of Warhol, has created a new respected force in the automotive museum space.

Composition of an old black and white photo of Edison with the brand blue and red circles.