The Many Faces of Franklin Furnace
Franklinfurnace.org launched on October 25, 1996 with its first look and feel designed by Seth Zalman, who volunteered to be Franklin Furnace's first Webmaster. William Wegman's 1983 drawing, "Visit the New Facility," was Franklin Furnace's first splash page, aptly symbolizing our impending transformation from physical to virtual.
Betsey Gallagher, Program Coordinator, worked with Daniel Georges, artist and curator of "In the Flow: Alternate Authoring Strategies," Franklin Furnace's 20th anniversary exhibition, designing our February 1, 1997 splash page, the first face of Franklin Furnace as a virtual entity.
In 1998 Alice Wu created a new site to celebrate Franklin Furnace's first forays into the world of online performance art in collaboration with Pseudo.com.
In 1999, Alice handed the site off to Tiffany Ludwig who developed Franklin Furnace's physical and virtual worlds.
In 2001, Tiffany designed a new navigation scheme, look and feel to celebrate Franklin Furnace's 25th Anniversary.
In 2005, Dolores Zorreguieta in collaboration with Oliver Wunsch and Ella Bjelm, designed a new site reorganizing and renaming Franklin Furnace's categories.
In 2008, Moran Been-noon and Christine Tadler, Franklin Furnace interns obtaining their MFA degrees at SVA, reorganized the site according to a 30th anniversary template developed by Franklin Furnace's staff.
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Franklin Furnace’s first stationery was designed by me, I guess. I wanted to go with the Franklin Stove inference, a museum for hot air, so I selected a chunky, 19 th century industrial face and printed it in gray. Otherwise, our graphic identity for the first two seasons was largely determined by the IBM Selectric typewriter balls on hand. A young professional designer in a black shirt as I recall did the first professional-looking calendars in 1978-79. I can’t remember his name anymore, and there is no design credit on the calendars, but the logo he designed was incorporated by artist and sign painter Ilona Granet into Franklin Furnace’s sign. Artist Joe Lowery, friend of artist Bill Gordh, Franklin Furnace’s “ground control” dude, had a hand in the design of calendars, stationary, labels and such in the early 80s. During the 80s there were a plethora of stationary designs, no two alike, plus each Flue was designed by an artist so each one had a completely different look. Artist Kathy Grove created the shaded portion of our 12 th anniversary stationery, “Hot for a Dozen Years,” with carefully air-compressed shadow around two edges. Unfortunately the printer’s thumb ruined the paste-up and we had to start over. Barbara Kruger told me not to use the image of matches strewn on the page, as they fed the inflammatory accusations being made at the time. Talented interns like Brad Rice (1984) and Program Coordinator Isabel Samaras took turns at designing stationary and calendars. At the request of Jackie Schiffman, Franklin Furnace’s Director of Development, Board member Lawrence Weiner designed a Members’ Passport in 1988, in which rubber-stamp images created by performance artists in our program were stamped on Members’ attendance. At the end of the 80s we decided to hold a logo contest. We sent out a call, and got great submissions, but the clear winner was Pavel Buchler, Czech artist and friend of Jaroslav Andel, curator of “The Avant-Garde Book” show. He used the corner of the page itself as part of the FF logo, subliminally suggesting the page as an artspace. During the 90s, artist Carol Sun adapted Franklin Furnace’s logo several times over, creating adventuresome designs including one with little FFs floating in orange bubbles. Our 25 th anniversary stationary was designed by Jackie Goldberg of Razorfish, at the request of Alexandra Anderson-Spivy, Franklin Furnace’s fearless Chair. Jackie didn’t throw out the FF logo everyone had come to recognize but morphed it into two angular shapes on the page. Plus she selected hot pink, black and gray as our 25 th anniversary palette, for which I will love her forever. When Franklin Furnace moved to its current home in the BAM cultural district, Program Coordinator Dolores Zorreguieta used Jackie Goldberg’s design as a springboard to leap to the design we are using to embark upon our 30 th anniversary season.