In the research phase for several identity projects recently, I’ve been exploring the identities of museums and galleries all over the world. High art and cultural institutions exist at the intersection of heritage, experimentation, beauty and design consciousness that allows for identity systems—often created by some of the most talented and high-profile designers in the world—that push the definitions of typography and identity to the edge.
These systems must be incredibly flexible for a wide variety of applications (from signage to installations to totes) and the identities often come in a set of shape-shifting formats that suggest surprising depths of movement for a static design. Others employ the most simple and understated typography to create wordmarks which work effortlessly within any application of a greater visual brand story, through other graphic elements or co-existence with the art inside the museum itself.
See a few standout examples below (note there is one representative from every city visited so far in the Block Club Residency program!).
Musée Picasso by Julien Lelièvre
Nationaal Militair Museum by Fabrique
The Whitney by Experimental Jetset
Van Gogh Museum by Koeweiden Postma
San Francsico MOMA by Snøhetta
Design Museum Danmark by Urgent.Agency