Logo Research Paper: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s earliest roots dates back to 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans agreed to create a “national institution and gallery of art” to bring art and art education to the American people. The lawyer John Jay, who proposed the idea, swiftly moved forward with the project upon his return to the United States from France. The Met is the second-largest museum in the world, with a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of art. It features over 60 exhibitions annually and is home to over 33 million visitors. One of the core assets is if the museum is its nickname, The Met. This is the most powerful symbol and it lets people immediately recognize the brand. To create instant recognition, the name should be focused on the exact location where it’s located. The Met’s formal name remains unchanged. Its eclecticism and diversity have always been its strength. As part of the museum’s continuous effort to encourage creativity and inclusion, the new logo was created with the goal of drawing connections that will connect people and art. 

The Met’s mark is a combination of the letters and forms to acknowledge the organization’s unique ability to produce visual ideas and forms that are both modern and classical. One iconic color is needed to anchor The Met’s identity. Red is a bold and provocative color that evokes passion and strength in many cultures. The early use of the color has been explored by a conservator and scholar Elena Phipps throughout The Met collection. Phipps traces the vibrant hue achieved by drying and crushing the cochineal insect. 

The museum typographic system is based on two fonts The Met Sans and The Met Serif are both based on the Kilm Foundry Calibre font. The Met Sans is a modern serif that features a clean and personable style. The Met Serif is a modern font that uses extensive weights and characters. A visual identity is a set of elements that help us communicate clearly and confidently to our customers and visitors. It’s a dynamic ecosystem that consists of various elements that help us connect with our audience.

The new Met logo is designed by a British American branding firm Wolff Olins. The new logo, unlike the old one which features a grid and circles similar to the image of the Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in his painting which had been used since the 1970s. 

Photo credits: by Victoria / Art Stories / Medium

Here both of the logos can be seen next to each other and how different they are in terms of design and typography as well as colors. The initial reaction to the logo was not positive and in return to that the museum answered by saying “There may be debate about the logo because it involves change, but the museum chose it because it represents something simple, bold, and indisputable: The Met is here for everyone”. 

The old logo may be just a letter but it is very crowded due to the lines and grids surrounding the M. The fonts used for the old logo is the Met Sans, The Met Sans, in view of Kilm Foundry’s Caliber and adjusted for the Museum’s elite use by the text style house Village. The black circle in the background also adds a touch of style which is now outdated. The use of black and white seems like a negative of an image which does not give a very pleasing look overall. The iconic Met “M” was drawn from the museum’s collection, from the Divina proportione woodcut in Renaissance-era book by Fra Luca Pacioli, designed after Leonardo da Vinci.

Compared to the new logo which is based on the museum’s nickname, it looks very simple yet effective. The letters seamlessly blending into each other gives a very classy and minimalistic look. The use of the color red is a very bold choice and the font of choice is effective as well. The Met Serif is a friendly, present-day serif with broad loads and characters enlivened by nineteenth-century newsprint and show text styles, it appeals to a lot of modern-day works of art and people. 

 Both logos are very different from one another and different fonts are used for each of them. The new identity will be used across all of the organization’s materials, including maps, signage, websites, and social media. The Met’s flagship location is Fifth Avenue, and its new home is the Breuer. The museum’s permanent collection contains over 2 million works which are divided into 17 curatorial departments. On April 13, 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art was fused, opening to general society in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue. On November 20 of that very year, the Museum obtained its first item, a Roman stone coffin. In 1871, 174 European canvases, including works by Anthony van Dyck, Nicolas Poussin, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, entered the assortment. On March 30, 1880, after a brief move to the Douglas Mansion at 128 West 14th Street, the Museum opened to the public at its current site on Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.

The Met Cloisters, which opened to the general population in 1938, is part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art committed to the craftsmanship and engineering of middle age Europe. Situated in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, on a terrific four-section of land part ignoring the Hudson River, the cutting edge gallery building isn’t a duplicate of a particular archaic construction yet is somewhat an outfit educated by a choice regarding authentic points of reference, with a conscious blend of ministerial and common spaces orchestrated in sequential request and different locales in Europe have been fused into the texture of the structure.

The Met Cloisters logo is the same as the original logo but cloisters have been added underneath the logo in the same color but in a different font. The font used for the cloisters is The Met Sans, which was originally used for the first-ever met logo. 

In conclusion, The met logo was designed by a firm named Wolf Ollins after the previous logo had been used since the 1970s. The museum uses two fonts specifically designed for their branding which are The Met Sans and The Met Serif. Something interesting about this museum is how long its history dates back to, it was originally an idea in Paris, France in 1866 and then it became a reality over the years and now contains over 2 million pieces of work It has multiple branches including The Met cloisters specializing in European Medieval art and architecture with a focus on Gothic periods. 


Design Research Paper

Jerry Pinkney’s icons of living culture have, since 1960, been an important part of the American visual landscape. Jerry Pinkney is a master watercolorist and across his, 50-year journey as an illustrator has created images that reflect his passion for life, love for family, and his interest in history. He has illustrated work for covers and pages of periodicals, postage stamps, greeting cards, product advertisements, and his work has appeared in more than one hundred illustrated books. In the artist’s words “A sense of community has always been important to me, and I want that to be reflected in my art. When I speak of community, I am not only talking about the immediate world around me but also my legacy. I am always searching for projects that connect with my culture and the experience of being Black in America.” His elegant work reminds us of life’s most meaningful blessing which is having a community whether it is immediate or the one you to make throughout your life and how important it is to be a part of one to lead a fulfilling life. 

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it was hard for Jerry Pinkney to dream of a career in art but being a part of a loving and supportive family helped him see the other way. Pinkney’s mother being a homemaker and his father being a craftsman made him attracted to the art of learning. “I was drawing to learn,” said Pinkney when his parents carried the tradition of oral storytelling when they migrated from the South. Listening to classic folk tales poked at his creativity helping him feel like he belonged in a community. Pinkney got his first glimpse into the professional art world when he met a cartoonist John J. Liney while working at a local newspaper stand, sketching occasionally. Pinkney took his first professional step in 1960, at The Rust Craft Greeting Card Company. He then proceeded to gain recognition until he produced and illustrated his first of more than one hundred books to come, The Adventures of Spider: West African Folk Tales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst. 

The Adventures of Spider: West African Folk Tales by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst and Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, 1964. 

Determined to succeed Jerry Pinkey was the first in his family to get higher education from the Philadelphia School of Art. He enrolled as a design student to further perfect his skills. After publishing his first illustrated book he decided to fully commit to art and started his career as a freelance artist. During the 1960s demand for more inclusive art and literature started to emerge and Pinkney’s work started to get more recognition. His dream of being a “strong role model for my family and other African Americans” started to turn into a reality. Pinkney’s work is inspired by the oral tradition his parents kept alive from when they migrated from the south and wanting to build a community between the African Americans by creating and illustrating experiences others can relate to as well. 

Ain’t nobody a stranger to me by Ann Grifalconi and Illustrate by Jerry Pinkney, 2007.

Ain’t nobody a stranger to me is a picture book about an old man telling his granddaughter of he and his young family’s journey to freedom with assistance from the underground railroad. Pinkney took on work to honor his history and educate others about it. 

By the time Pinkney moved to New York he was already known by multiple publishing companies and people who offered him commissioned work. He was also offered to illustrate album covers for RCA Records for classical jazz music and calenders honoring jazz greats of Harlem Renaissance. African American Journey to Freedom looks back on history, from the Great Migration to the Voting Rights Act of 1965—a series of thirty-five paintings that are now in the collection of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Pinkney made a lot of very moving work throughout his career but one of his most loved and known pieces of work is The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, The New York Times, 2009. 

Jerry Pinkney received over twenty awards since the beginning of his career including the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors.

In conclusion, Jerry Pinkney is one of the most known and admired children’s book illustrators. His determination for art and to make meaningful work to inspire others, especially his own children paid off and his legacy will continue on as his books have been translated into sixteen different languages and are sold in fourteen different countries. 


Born: December 22, 1939. “Jerry Pinkney.” Illustration History, https://www.illustrationhistory.org/artists/jerry-pinkney

Jerry Pinkney Studio, https://www.jerrypinkneystudio.com/frameset.html 

“Jerry Pinkney: Penguin Random House.” PenguinRandomhouse.com, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/45616/jerry-pinkney/ 

Sutton, Roger. “GRRRR!!! Oops!” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Nov. 2009, https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/books/review/Sutton-t.html

Troncoso, Darya Jandossova. “30 Famous Illustrators You Need to Know.” MarketSplash, MarketSplash, 26 Oct. 2021, https://marketsplash.com/famous-illustrators/ 

Virtual Tour Report of Blue Exhibition at Nassau Museum

New York City is filled with art and inspiration everywhere you look, every block you turn and every building you see.  One of the greatest advantages of being an art lover and living in New York is that this city is filled with museums that are free to cost almost very little for CUNY students. I am first in line for any exhibition I hear of that is happening in the city. Due to the covid-19 restrictions, it has been difficult to visit all the new exhibitions that are being shown in all the different museums so a great alternative to view these exhibitions on a virtual tour. I had the privilege to go on a virtual tour of the Nassau County Museum to view the exhibit Blue. 

Buste de Femme, 1902, lithography

This portrait was painted by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, b. 1881- d. 1973). During the early 1900s, Picasso painted a series of works in the shades of the color blue which became known as his blue period. In his words “I paint objects as I think them, not see them.” His blue period was a reflection of insatiability, poverty, and sadness. 

In my opinion, Picasso reflected his message beautifully through this specific painting because the color blue generally is linked to sadness. The different shades of blue are used to create depth and the contrast between realism and abstract art is nicely done. Looking at this portrait definitely makes you feel the wave of sadness the artist tried to portray and the expressions go very well with the shades of blue. What truly caught my eye was the essence of realism slowly turning into abstract art. 

Blue House on Water #2, 2018, Edition ⅗ with 2 AP, 60.5 x 47 inches

The second image I chose is by an artist named James Casebere (American, b. 1953). James Casabere is a Detroit-born artist and is known for his staged photography which explores the relationship between sculpture, photography, architecture, and film. Casabere’s platform is to depict his subject in a flooded area to reflect on the current climate change situation and natural disasters. The materials he uses to make his tabletop models are plaster, styrofoam, and cardboard. According to Casabere, he uses his work to bring pleasure to the viewer while addressing larger societal issues. In my opinion, I think he does both very gracefully. When you initially look at the image above it gives a sense of peace and calmness especially because of the usage of pastel shades of the color blue with a hint of other colors which are not too distracting. Then the longer you look at the image you start to notice the bigger issue behind the image which is the rising sea levels. I believe that the colors, composition, and tabletop model were executed very nicely and definitely made the impact it needed to. 

Magda’s Blues: II, 1979, oil on canvas 

This painting is by an artist Jon Schueler (American, b 1916- d. 1992). His artwork is inspired by the power of nature and the feeling evoked by the sky, sea, and land. His usage of light and a radiant color palette helped him forget and fade away the memories of wartime. In my opinion, I really like his work and it brings a sense of calmness and peace which he exactly intended for himself after being a veteran and living through trauma. I think his body of work is very effective. 

Visual Quote Project

The first concept I came up with was doing an illustration depicting what the quote meant to me. The idea behind this illustration is that in order to achieve results you need to keep putting in the work and only that is when the good will start to bloom like the plant in the pot. I chose to do a rough yet clean sketch of a flower pot being watered, by using a light pastel palette and a darker shade to outline so the objects would be seen as what they were intended to be. I also made a little shadow for the pot to give more dimension to the illustration. The font I used for the quote is Marker Felt and I matched the color of the quote to the leaves to balance the darker colors out. I made the decision to warp the text and make it match the vibe of the illustration which was clean yet a bit imperfect. 

For the second concept, I also chose to make an illustration. This concept is similar to the first one but it represents the force of nature and time quite literally, given the plant is in the hourglass. I chose to make this illustration with clean edges and stringer colors to oppose my first idea and go with a different aesthetic. The font I used is Marker Felt and I chose to warp the quote around the hourglass to keep the illustration together and be seen as one instead of placing it somewhere far or just straight across which would have divided the viewer’s attention between the illustration and the quote. 

For the third and the last concept, I decided to keep it simple and clear-cut. I decided to illustrate a clock to make the reader visualize the quote. I decided to write the quote as the dial of the clock with a dark color contrary to the pastel palette I used to make it stand out to the reader.