October 16, 2012

(Re)Flag USA: Project 2 / MGMT. design

Over the next month leading up to the presidential election, four separate designers/design firms will tackle the not-so-small problem of rebranding the United States. A more detailed post on this project series can be read here. Last week was Jeremy Mende / MendeDesign. This week: MGMT. design from Brooklyn, NY.

Is there anything more American than the American flag?

As any American school kid knows, the stars and stripes are not merely decorative. Each element in the flag represents information: 13 horizontal strips represent the 13 original colonies and 50 stars stand for the 50 states. While our flag is directly representational of both our colonial history and our modern identity, its information has become static and inflexible.

Using the American flag as the formal foundation, MGMT. created 50 new flags that are based the current conditions of a changing nation. These new standards utilize data visualization in a heraldic form to reveal facts about our country, from the obvious to the sublime: 1 in 32 Americans are in prison, 3.2 percent of us are vegetarian, and 1 in 4 of us has been on TV. While sometimes superficial, these new metrics reveal aspects of America that go deeper than traditional patriotic symbols.

Freedom has always been America’s primary brand attribute. Imagine a country where individual expression includes the creation of a personal flag for every citizen or like-minded group. This could be just the beginning.

Re:flag yourself.

View all flags with accompanying explanations here.

MGMT. design is a collaborative woman-owned graphic design studio based in Brooklyn, New York. MGMT. has extensive experience in print, branding, exhibition and environment design, packaging, information and web design. The principals of MGMT. are Alicia Cheng and Sarah Gephart.

Alicia Cheng is a founding partner of MGMT. and has extensive exhibition design experience as well as brand and interactive design. She has worked as a senior designer for Method, New York and was the co-design director at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She served as a lecturer and frequent visiting critic at Yale University and was a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Alicia received her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Yale University.

Sarah Gephart was a senior designer and project manager at the New York design firm 2×4 prior to joining MGMT. There, she worked on numerous branding, collateral, interactive and book projects for cultural clients. Before 2×4, she worked at several New York City design firms. Sarah teaches at Parsons School of Design and was a lecturer at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Sarah received her BA from Oberlin College and her MFA from Yale University.

Comments (6)

  • When you click on the link you are taken to a Japanese page.

  • Agree w/ @James. Can’t tell whether the red center is less than a third than the white, unless the plastic surgery amount is supposed to include the red space, too. I’d have to do math, measure, etc., and that defeats the purpose, right?

    The concept works beautifully, though.

  • Nice idea. The NASA/Plastic surgery comparison is a nice one. It’s hard to get a clear idea of how much larger the area of one circle is than another, though.

  • Looks more like simplistic infographics, rather than national’s flag. Most of the info is a social commentary of recent events and not really representative of America in a long term.

  • Brava, Mgmt! I love them. I think “the Big House” may be my favorite, but it looks like this was a lot of fun to work on.

  • Love the whole thing. I can see a new visual language, merging symbols
    and information. I like the fact the flags made me see the description
    again and again. Of course they are quite lovely to my eyes too.

See all responses (6)
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