Arena With an Identity Crisis


New Milwaukee Bucks Arena

In case you have not heard, Milwaukee is going through a sort of building renaissance, albeit small compared to other cities like our neighbor to the south—Chicago. There are at least six major projects being built downtown, and one of them happens to be the recently ground-broken new home for the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team as seen in the rendering above.

Milwaukee is home to some pretty unique architecture. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion, Miller Park, City Hall, Wisconsin Gas Building, Pabst Theater and the Basilica of St. Josaphat are a few of those I would suggest visiting.


BMO Harris Bradley Center

Now, we have a new Basketball-Only arena replacing the 1980’s concrete slab BMO
Harris Bradley Center. 

Don’t get me wrong, the new arena is an improvement over the current one in use, but what do you conjure up when you see the new design above? A wooden keg perhaps signaling back to the once beer brewing capital of the world? A slight pause of a sideways comma? How about a combover much like the one of the 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump?


Side of New Stadium

Either way, I don’t know what to think of our new arena. I like some of it. The Zinc paneled roof which is rustic and yet modern, as well as the plaza entrance area covered in glass with an observation area jetting out near the top, are some of my favorites. But the whole building seems to be forgotten. Just look at the other sides of the arena renderings and I get a feeling it was an afterthought.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the design? Does it speak to you and if so what does it say? Is it “Milwaukee”?

Like I said before, I am torn. I like some of it, but there are parts I feel were ignored. Maybe it was the budget or the time constraints that were limiting (Arena History). I just hope “Milwaukee’s Combover” doesn’t become its nickname.




Cars have become predictable lately. Whether boxy or sporty, most car designs are the same under the hood with some differences on the outside to give it a different look from the next. BMW has a concept car that is like no other. The skin is fabric, and can change when the conditions require it to. To me, it almost takes on the look of a living being. The good news is no dents or scratches, but I would hate for the skin to get a run in it. Any way you look at it, the GINA is a work of art and a thing of beauty.

lights, camera, font.

Helvetica is one of the core fonts in typography; and a sure bet that you have seen it used in countless forms such as signage and in advertising. Now Helvetica has its day in the spotlight in the form of a documentary film that looks at the history and life of a font everyone has seen.

It is now nearing the finish lines of its world-wide screening tour, but you can buy this piece of typographic history at for $20 ($US) in DVD format or $26 ($US) for Blu-ray disc.


Replicating color for printing is always a hassle in graphic design. Most design schools these days preach the wonders of Pantone, and how it is predictable on press. The reality is that unless you have a budget for 5 or more colors, Pantone is not always the best solution for color. In comes the TRUMATCH color matching system. TRUMATCH? you say… “never heard of it.” or “Yeah, I saw that name in the color swatch options of [place your favorite design program here.]

So what is TRUMATCH? It is 4-color process based on hue, saturation and brightness turned into a 3-dimensional space. Sure all color is based off of these three attributes, but TRUMATCH makes a usable and reproducible swatch system out of it. All colors are reproducible to 1% of the target color tint. This makes press-check all that much less problematic and your pieces all that much more color accurate. This is unlike Pantone’s Solid-to-Process which is not always close to the Pantone original.

TRUMATCH has given me more accuracy in the past few months than I ever thought I would have with color. It is not an answer to custom colors that Pantone can handle, but it is a great tool to start using in your color arsenal. Give it a try. Swatch books are $85 ($US) for Coated or Uncoated, and will provide you some color freedom in return!

For more information visit