Addy Award Winner

Dow Gardens

Behind the branding

The Dow Gardens rebrand project was special to AMPM. This is a place where we’ve built personal memories. It’s where we took our senior pictures, our daughter’s first hike, even said our vows. This is a look inside the journey AMPM, with our partners and friends, took to create this gift for the generations to come.

A bridge between brands

Before there was an actual bridge connecting the Gardens to Whiting Forest, we had to build a figurative one. Two incredible properties with unique offerings needed a unified image.

Our exploration led us through the properties’ historic and newly envisioned attractions. Through collaboration with the Whiting family and staff, we revisited our favorite spots and were able to experience some new favorites in the making.

Making connections

The idea of intersecting circles to form shapes and paths presented itself early in the process. This dynamic was not only great conceptually, but is also a strong physical feature woven throughout the properties.

What do you see?

The kaleidoscope icon was a product of this thought exploration. Using the shapes to create abstract yet discernible images yielded an interpretive symbol full of life and color.

Shape and color

The kaleidoscope icon was a product of this thought exploration. Using the shapes to create abstract yet discernible images yielded an interpretive symbol full of life and color.

GPS tagged plants in
the garden
Journal pages scanned, retouched and formatted
Screens of interactive

Digitizing History

Herbert Dow’s love for science and gardening converge in his meticulous recordings of garden facts in a series of journals that begin in the 1900s and span nearly thirty years. Not only can these artifacts be seen under glass in the visitor center installations created by Good Design, but thanks to the help of the Midland Historical Society you can now browse every hand written page, as well as view transcribed versions. Be sure to check out page 37 of journal 3 containing a detailed map to where the family cow is buried.

Each journal was delicately scanned and transcribed before AMPM began retouching and coding the more than 700 pages of entries. The interactive journals are now fully accessible to everyone including daily features and “choose a day” search functions.

A companion kiosk was also developed that allows visitors to continue this legacy by entering daily facts from the garden into a simple interface that generates new journal pages and statistics.

Digitizing History

In addition to the restoration of this work of art containing 167 pieces of wood from 49 species of trees, educational kiosks were developed containing fun facts and photos from this incredible piece of history.

Visitors can select panels from the door to learn their story. Each piece was hand selected by the Dow family on their travels throughout the world.

Congratulations to the AMPM and Dow Gardens team on their recent American Advertising Federation ADDY Award for Digital Media Installations.

Where is tulip 1361?
Yeah, they know.

The process of mapping the campus and developing wayfinding components was an orchestrated effort. To start, the team at Amalgam GPS -tagged thousands of plants and miles of trails. Using this data along with the designs from Metcalf we were able to piece together the future property and attractions. A complete system of wayfinding elements and signage was then developed including interactive maps, trail-markers and signs.

Planting apples, growing a community

The prequel to this story begins with the generosity of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. The property, as well as Mr. Whiting’s childhood home, was graciously donated to the community along with their continuing support. Be sure to explore the full history in the Dow Gardens visitor center exhibit area.

Thank You

AMPM is proud to have been part of this project and of our longtime partnership with the Foundation. We thank them for the opportunities and for all they have done to make our community what it is today.