Brilliance Gets Brighter

The Luminarts Cultural Foundation has been aiding young artists, writers and musicians in Chicago for the last 66 years, allowing them to pursue their passion for the arts. Each year, members and guests of the Foundation have the chance to appreciate the works of up-and-coming artists and support their future projects through the Luminarts spring fundraising event held at the prestigious Union League Club.

The fundraiser, previously named the Luminarts Ball, had been a great success throughout its history, attracting advocates to participate in and contribute to the Foundation’s mission to advance the arts. Despite its success, the Luminarts Foundation wanted a way to excite fresh, young supporters without compromising the tradition that their established members loved. The team at BatesMeron was eager to contribute to such a charitable cause.

Our team began by concepting names and themes that could represent the convergence of old and new in a way that was appealing to both. We experimented with exotic event names and different styles, but our true inspiration came when Luminarts expressed their desire to “illuminate the artists.” From this, we arrived at our final concept, titled “Brilliance Gets Brighter.”




“‘Brilliance Gets Brighter’ was a genius title for the event,” said Luminarts Associate Director Mitch Kohl. “In a very playful way it made it known that the Luminarts Cultural Foundation is serious about supporting excellence and hopes to shine a spotlight on that excellence.”

After an enthusiastic approval from the Luminarts team, we set to work bringing the theme to life. Our team started by tackling the challenge of mixing modern and traditional into one cohesive look. The modern aspect came easily enough through the use of sleek typefaces and graphical elements. Our inspiration for the traditional elements was a little more ingenious, coming from textures sampled from watercolor paintings to represent the masterpieces of the past. The resulting combination of the two was something classic and contemporary.




Our vision wasn’t finished yet, though. Drawing on the idea of illumination that had been so popular with Luminarts and BatesMeron, we incorporated a vivid and colorful palette into our design. This created an effect that was immediately eye-catching, beautiful and succeeded in highlighting the artists our concept was centered around.

The final design was used across all deliverables—from the invitations, to the program covers and all the way down to the signs for the auction items, every piece was an instantly recognizable reminder of the event’s rejuvenated theme.




“The event was a leap for Luminarts in connecting with new supporters and showcasing the importance of the Foundation’s mission by highlighting those who we support and Chicago’s artistic community,” said Kohl. “The collateral that BatesMeron created for the event really set the tone and energy for the evening to be the refreshed and vibrant event that it was.”

When the event finally arrived, it was a smashing success. With over 220 new and established supporters in attendance, more than $90,000 was raised for the sponsored artists. The stunning theme-infused decorations, beautiful art, singing performances, dancing and delicious food ensured that all in attendance had a wonderful time—the BatesMeron team included!


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