How to make the new Met logo even better
Above: The former logo for The Metropolitan Museum of Art (everybody refers to it as the Met) in New York City featured a drafting rendered letter M, adapted from the 1509 book De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli. But, as The Met moved its modern art collection into the former Whitney Museum building - a Brutalist classic by Marcel Breuer - now called The Met Breuer, the former logo would no longer be appropriate. There needed to be a new brand to better convey the new Met. A logo with images would be tough - how could they represent such a vast collection spanning thousands of years and hundreds of styles and genres of art with just one or a few visuals?
In early 2016, The Met introduced a new logo - conjoined letters that "connect the past with the future." The museum's VP of Marketing says, “The Met represents over 5,000 years of art, from all over the world; at Fifth Avenue, the Breuer, and the Cloisters. This notion of trying to make the connections - it was what drove the look of the logo." The conjoined letters connect the past with the future. But, that concept could/should be carried a step farther - to not only connect the letters horizontally, but also vertically. Connecting the past with future in a linear timeline and connecting the depth of the collection into a single entity.
• Letters touch vertically as well as horizontally.
• The thick stroke of the H aligns above the thick stroke of the lower E.
• Serifs are vertical, not slanted or skewed to respect the verticality of the thick letter strokes.
• Thin lines in the font are a bit thicker to better relate to the thick strokes and provide more strength to the logo.
• The 'barbs' of the missing serifs on the Ts remain for increased memorability.
• The left and right margins align, forming a better frame; as art is framed and highlighted.
The revised mark is more orderly, more cohesive, and more connected (which is the main design concept).
Lesson: Figure out the strength of the piece, exploit that and minimize the rest.
Below: In 2017, TheMet adopted some of the better concept - the kissing lines of type. Now just one step further to the brand:
Concept and sketches: 2016