Pentagram creates new typeface for Smithsonian Design Museum's logo

When it comes to designing a new look for a design museum, you start with the typeface.

There are plenty of museums around the world that feature design in their galleries but the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the United States that devotes itself entirely to design. So, how do you approach a logo redesign for one of the biggest and important museums for design itself?

Smithsonian design museum new logo

The new Smithsonian logo in its new typeface

Independent design agency Pentagram accepted the challenge and took on the redesign, approaching the project with type in mind.

The new logo uses a specially designed typeface called Cooper Hewitt. Pentagram's Eddie Opara also helped develop the museum’s new name. Formerly the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the new name replaces 'National' with 'Smithsonian' and eliminates the hyphen, simplifying the brand while emphasising its heritage.

Smithsonian design museum new logo

The former Smithsonian logo design

"Cooper Hewitt's new identity plays it straight, with no play on visual or theoretical complexity, no puzzling contradiction or ambiguity, no distracting authorship. Function is its primary goal, and ultimately the logo is important, but not as important as what the museum does." Opara explained.

The design has been rolled out across the board, with the website, promotional materials, signage and more using the new identity. You can also download the typeface for free over on the Cooper Hewitt website. So, what do you make of the new look for one of the biggest design museums in the world?

Smithsonian design museum new logo

Smithsonian design museum new logo

Smithsonian design museum new logo

[via Pentagram]

What do you think of the look? Let us know in the comments box below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A founder member of the Creative Bloq team, Sammy Maine is now a freelance journalist. She also thinks that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably the best television series ever created.