New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is widely considered to be the greatest modern art museum in the world. In the early 2000s, the museum underwent a major renovation and expansion designed by Yoshio Taniguchi.
Bruce Mau Design was invited to consider the brand identity, including a potential redesign of the iconic MoMA logo that would revitalize the museum’s image, but maintain and respect its distinctive brand. We ultimately decided to keep the MoMA identity the same, choosing instead to develop a cohesive wayfinding and signage system as an artistic extension of the existing logo.
We decided to treat the signage system as a metaphor for sound, and developed typography that would scale from a street level, "full urban" sound to a contemplative, quiet sound. As the system extends further and further away from the street level, the visuals became more subtle and hushed so that by the time one enters the galleries, the typography is almost silent, allowing the visitor to experience the artwork without distraction. This experience reflects the MoMA's mission to provide a space for art and thought, despite its being located in the centre of one of the busiest cities in the world.