Opinion by Richard Baird.
The MoMA logotype, set in Franklin Gothic No. 2 and designed by Ivan Chermayeff, is an icon, and has been part of the New York urban landscape and international museum graphic vernacular since its creation in 1964. With evolving communicative needs and channels, the MoMA logotype was made a central graphic device as part of a new visual identity launched in 2009. Created by Pentagram and MoMA’s Creative Director for Graphics and Advertising Julia Hoffmann, this flexible visual identity was developed to bring a systematised and cohesive programme to print, web and environmental applications.
In 2019, MoMA expanded its 53rd Street location, adding 40,000 sq. ft. of new gallery space. This will showcase more of its collection with the intention of better representing and balancing a diversity of backgrounds, periods, media, and geographies, with a performative quality at the heart of its galleries. Just as in 2009, new approaches to communication; moving from exhibition-focused campaigns to a seasonal approach, required a revision to the MoMA visual identity to coincide with its expansion. New York-based Order reviewed and then defined what they described as a more modular, adaptable, and scalable design system for the museum’s communications, alongside the recommendation of a seasonal approach. This included updating the PS1 and Design Store logos, adding these as brand extensions of MoMA’s singular institutional mark. All additional applications were then designed and produced in house by the MoMA Design Studio, these included newsprint advertising, design store catalogue covers, member’s day programmes, banners, map and tickets.