I have blogged Pentagram before, but only once, so this hasn’t – yet – become some mad fan blog. Two nice things come together on this one – the (literally) shiny new Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York and their new logo by Michael Bierut at Pentagram.
I visited the old MAD just before it closed and saw a great Droog exhibition. But that building had little impact at street level. The new one looks impressive, a re-clad block of 1964 origin. From where I sit it looks all the better for its facelift. The new skin of iridescent tiles has been cut about with striking lines of fenestration, making the building in to a ‘piece’ to echo the craft it will house. Of course, the project upset conservationists but the original building was a pretty dour, dated looking thing.
So. The logo. Its development is described in detail on the tasty Pentagram blog and I can’t better that. What I really really love about this logo is the way the design accepts varied, textured imagery; paper, wood, basketry…so nice for a museum dealing with craft. And the way the logo is rather difficult to read actually dilutes the somewhat unfortunate acronym of MAD and makes a design – and a success – of it.
The rolled out alphabet of the MAD face is full of jolly fat letters, extending the visual metaphor. It looks great too, working with colours and images. It has almost become pure pattern. Although it has only been used on marketing where legibility could be subsumed in the name of recognisablity; there is a more classic face for the real printed output.
It’s quite hard to make anything ‘craft’ sexy, I think. But this does it for me.