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Pentagram creates new typeface for Smithsonian Design Museum's logo

There are plenty of museums around the world that feature design in their galleries but the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab)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 (opens in new tab)]

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

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Sammy Maine was a founding member of the Creative Bloq team, working as a Commissioning Editor. Her interests cover graphic design in music and film, illustration and animation. Since departing, Sammy has written for The Guardian, VICE, The Independent & Metro, and currently co-edits the quarterly music journal Gold Flake Paint.