Museum Culture Awards IDCA


Case Study

How can our look and feel better express the institution’s mission at this pivotal milestone in its history? How can we give visual shape to SFMOMA’s major shifts in thinking and approach? The result was the first redesign of the logo and visual identity in two decades, undertaken by SFMOMA’s own Design Studio.

Just as the new building is more open to the city, the new logo is deliberately porous, providing multiple points of access. The organic
configuration of the three parts echoes the idiosyncratic, free-thinking culture of the Bay Area, which is known for its diversity.

Our seven person team, against all odds including a crazy timeline that ran parallel to the construction timeline for our new museum, developed all aspects of the visual identity including the logo, color palette, custom typeface wayfinding icons, and a new graphic vocabulary. These elements were then translated into a new website, online magazine, building identification and wayfinding signage (with help from SOM Design Dept.), events decor, invitations, business cards, store product, brochures, etc.

Tools include design and animation software, lots of vinyl, lots of
adrenaline, and our secret weapon—a project coordinator.
The final outcome visually illustrates the institution’s values and the experience of the physical museum—visually opening up just as the building now does to the city, and welcoming visitors to a new experience.