New Model Identification for MoMA by Order — BP&O
Statement by Richard Baird.
The MoMA logo in Franklin Gothic No. 2, designed by Ivan Chermayeff, is an icon and has been part of the New York city landscape and international museum language since its inception in 1964. The MoMA logo has become a central graphics device as part of a new visual identity introduced in 2009. This flexible visual identity was developed by Pentagram and Julia Hoffmann, creative director for graphics and advertising, to provide a systematic and coherent program for print and web and environmental applications.
In 2019, MoMA expanded its location on 53rd Street by 40,000 square feet of new gallery space. This will show more of his collection, with the aim of better presenting and balancing a variety of backgrounds, periods, media and regions, with a performative quality in the heart of his galleries. Just like in 2009 new communication approaches; The switch from exhibition-related campaigns to a seasonal approach required a revision of the visual identity of the MoMA to match its expansion. The New York-based order reviewed and defined what he called the more modular, adaptable, and scalable design system for museum communication, along with recommending a seasonal approach. This included updating the PS1 and Design Store logos and adding these logos as a brand extension to MoMA's unique institutional brand. All other applications were then designed and produced in-house by the MoMA Design Studio. This included newspaper advertising, catalog covers for design shops, daily programs for members, banners, cards and tickets.
MoMa's new visual identity builds on the previous one, develops MoMA Sans and the MoMA logo, the updated versions of which were drawn by Christian Schwartz in 2017 at Commercial Type, and promotes the modularity of Pentagram's work in 2009. This also plays with contrasts between strong modern color blocking and images from the MoMA collection, while new movements are introduced on the screen and the bold weight of MoMA Sans is used as a distinguishing feature for primary applications when the logo is missing.
It is a strong realignment, but continuity is clear in the presence of an obvious modularity system. Of course, visual identity systems are inherently programmatic, but some are less modular than others in their modularity. New contexts and digital first thinking have transformed MoMA's visual identity from the grids and guidelines of editorial and print publishing into a dynamic feed of color, image, type and movement. This movement is central to the new character and structure. It is swiped to the left as on the screen. While printing applications are static, they have the same visual language and immediacy because type and color are superior and proportionate. Color is used to reinforce a new seasonal approach and feel for the current time with the flexibility that can be adjusted over time.
The grid, the rationalized and the programmatic system of the middle of the century persist. Color rendering and typographical nuance may have developed iteratively (the continuity between different languages, especially for international institutions, has improved significantly). The leap to mobile screens has fundamentally changed the relationship between person and visual identity. The NYC-based motion design studio PepRally has developed an approach for moving across all touchpoints. More information here. Here there is both joy and usefulness in motion as well as the transition between things. Details such as the cutting of text, images and printed fields create excitement and interest in static communication elements. There are times when this is not available and was chosen directly for the covers of the Design Store catalog, but the type and image direction prevent them from deviating too much from the system.
Design: order. Additional applications: MoMA Design Studio. Motion design: PepRally project photography: Mari Juliano (MoMA), Leif Huron (MoMA Design Store). Opinion: Richard Baird.
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