Yale Schwarzman Center

Identity, website, generative design software, signage and collateral

Opened in late 2021, the Yale Schwarzman Center is the university’s first-ever student life and arts space, housing multiple dining spaces, bars, ultramodern performing arts venues and informal gathering places for students. It was established as a showcase and social venue, accommodating everything from world-class performances by major artists to student performances. Programming is diverse and interdisciplinary: music, dance, theater, comedy, visual art and interactive installations.

Thanks to a generous gift by The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman, the spaces have been renovated by renowned architects RAMSA—the center now encompasses the Yale University Commons, Memorial Hall, Woolsey Hall, and Hewitt Quadrangle.

FAY was commissioned to further develop the center’s visual identity and website, building off a simple graphic framework (wordmark and typographic system) established by Michael Bierut and team at Pentagram. FAY’s expanded visual identity system balances this original vision, the university’s existing design voice and a new look and feel intended to resonate with students. FAY designed the center’s website, on- and off-screen signage and continues to design collateral for each season—including advertising, posters, banners, brochures, digital assets and a yearly magazine.

Historical image of the Yale Schwarzman Center.

Commons dining hall between 1900 and 1906. Photography by Detroit Photographic Co.

Yale Schwarzman Center Commons.

Commons dining hall balcony in 2021, post renovation

Yale Schwarzman Center exterior building design.
Yale Schwarzman Center Commons interior building design.
Meeting room at Yale Schwarzman Center.
The Well at Yale Schwarzman Center, architectural design detail.
Students in The Dome room at Yale Schwarzman Center.

Robert Stern and his New York-based firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) led the transformation of a neoclassical Carrère and Hastings building at the heart of the university’s Connecticut campus into a hotbed of dining and theater

Yale Schwarzman Center wordmark.

The center’s wordmark, typeset by Yale’s Office of the University Printer, adheres to the university’s typographic standards and brand architecture

Yale's display typeface in use.

Yale Display is an adaptation of the Yale typeface, optimized for large sizes. It leads the center’s typographic palette, and is supported by Mallory (the university’s sans serif typeface) and Monument Grotesk Mono

Yale Schwarzman Center color palette.

Grounded in Yale’s signature blues, the palette expands to a variegated spectrum, an expression of the center’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity

Expressive type announces the center’s offerings and seasonal performances

Yale Schwarzman Center illustrations by FAY.
Yale Schwarzman Center illustrations by FAY.
Yale Schwarzman Center illustrations by FAY.

With limited photography during its mid-pandemic launch, a simple, geometric illustration style depicts the center’s offerings: meet, eat, collaborate and experience

Totebag designed by FAY for the Yale Schwarzman Center.
Yale Schwarzman Center street banner designed by FAY.
Yale Schwarzman Center modular sticker set designed by FAY.

A modular sticker pack evokes the inaugural season’s layout strategy

Yale Schwarzman Center street banner series designed by FAY.

The first season’s theme, “Break bread, break boundaries,” physically breaks the boundaries of the color-blocked layout strategy. This visual treatment extended across all the collateral created for the season, like this series of street banners

Yale Schwarzman Center banner in Beinecke Plaza. Banners designed by FAY.
Banner designed by FAY for the Yale Schwarzman Center.
Yale Schwarzman Center exterior hoarding.

Mockup of the hoarding design that was later deployed

439 linear feet of hoarding announces the center while RAMSA completes renovations

Full website design, featuring an unconventional parallax scrolling experience, readymade for highlighting the center’s multi-dimensional offerings

Yale Schwarzman Center poster designed by FAY.
Yale Schwarzman Center poster designed by FAY.

Posters announcing the season’s performances

Chef at work at the Yale Schwarzman Center.
Chef's wok at the Yale Schwarzman Center.

Following its soft launch during the pandemic, the center hosted an opening celebration for the Yale community. FAY developed an extended event-specific identity, which included print collateral, signage, animations, staff uniforms and swag

ale Schwarzman Center Opening Celebration with President Peter Salovey. Event identity designed by FAY.

Yale University President Peter Salovey appears at the YSC podium followed by donor Stephen A. Schwarzman

Yale Schwarzman Center t-shirt designed by FAY.
Yale Schwarzman Center opening celebration thank you.

On site, a digital signage system displays each venue’s changing menus

Yale Schwarzman Center digital signage designed by FAY.

The signage suite’s color palette, inspired by the surrounding architecture, ensures it melds seamlessly into the center’s spaces

Yale Schwarzman Center Digital Signage designed by FAY.
Masthead design for Yale Schwarzman's YSC MAG by FAY.

Published annually, YSC MAG announces the center’s upcoming season alongside bespoke editorial content. Its design extends from the center’s core identity, with a lively layout and kinetic mix of type

The debut issue, distributed across campus and beyond

YSC MAG cover designed by FAY.
YSC MAG for the Yale Schwarzman Center including Joachim & Dessner, designed by FAY.
ale Schwarzman Center YSC MAG, Ezell Offers Ballad for Healing. Spread designed by FAY.
YSC MAG for the Yale Schwarzman Center including Anthony Shadid, designed by FAY.

Project team

Aron Fay
Will Ferguson

Client team

Yale Schwarzman Center
Yale Hospitality
Office of the University Printer


Four Kitchens


Brian Kelley
Lotta Studio