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. 


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