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Designers react to Wolff Olins' new Metropolitan Museum logo

Wolff Olins Met logo

Merged stems, flare serifs and too much leading: a recipe for outrage. PHOTO: Justin Davidson

Wolff Olins (opens in new tab), the agency behind the controversial logo for the 2012 London Olympics, has provoked another round of designer rage with its new logo design for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (opens in new tab).

The redesign kicks out the museum's previous logo, a monogram based on a 16th century woodcut by a collaborator of Leonardo da Vinci's, and replaces it with a bold typographic treatment that merges flare serifs together and which has provoked nothing short of outrage.

Wolff Olins Met logo

The Met's previous logo was based on a 16th century design

"The whole ensemble looks like a red double-decker bus that has stopped short, shoving the passengers into each other’s backs," says Justin Davidson in this Vulture article (opens in new tab) that's kicked off a Twitterstorm of designer fury, with respected designers including Miles Newlyn and Adrian Shaughnessy stepping up to voice their disapproval.

It's not all incandescent designer rage, though. In a considered Facebook post, Wesley Stuckey notes that the shared stems and serifs of the letter forms are a basic design principle, but goes on to say: "The part that really irks me is the over emphasized 'THE' atop MET. This irritation includes the obscene amount of leading between the lines of type. If you are going to have a -100 kerning, you should balance that with -100 leading. Also, 'THE' should be at least half of the 'MET' in size relationship."

Bearing this in mind, he's quickly come up with his own treatment.

Wolf Olins Met logo

Wesley Stuckey has come up with his own treatment of the new logo

Other designers have been similarly thoughtful and pragmatic:

And at Wolff Olins, they're far from troubled by the reaction. "We think it’s great that people are talking about the work," a spokesperson told The Independent (opens in new tab). "At Wolff Olins we always aim to create work that people feel strongly about."

How do you feel about it? Let us know in the comments.

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Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.