I have opinions about logos and designs but when the world becomes outraged at a font choice or a color scheme it makes me laugh. So here’s my two cents about the MET logo.
It makes me want to cry a bit. I grew up walking through the exhibits of the MET wearing my metal “M” pin. As an art student, I really loved the history of the original design with it’s inspiration coming from a 1509 woodcut by Luca Pacioli. It represented the Renaissance, Enlightenment and Modernism all in one beautiful mark.
The new logo was created by design agency, Wolff Olins (side note — also the same agency that created the widely hated 2012 London Olympics logo). In a statement released by the design firm: “It is an original drawing, a hybrid that combines and connects serif and sans serif, classical and modern letterforms. In this respect, it reflects the scope of the Museum’s collection and the inherent connections that exist within it.”
This new design is what my kids will know as the MET branding which makes me sad. It makes me think of one of those tricky pictures that when you first look you see a beautiful woman, but at second glance you see an old lady. The color is so harsh. I don’t typically mind red and I’ve seen all the W/O justifications for the color, but I feel it’s an exclusive color with too much negative history behind it, especially at the saturation level they chose. I also agree with another article that compares it to a 1970’s bad book cover. I understand the idea of one thing flowing into the next, but it all seems too forced. And if you have to justify a design with so many explanations, it might be a sign that it’s really not working. The serifs and letterforms although touching don’t seem to flow naturally at all and feel very unbalanced. It looks like student work to be honest. I’m sure W/O submitted a folder full of logo ideas but I wonder if this was even their number one choice.
Anyway, it’s done. Money has been spent and maps have been printed. We can look forward to this thing slapping us in the face upon entering the iconic building complimented by the new way finding and exhibit graphics. If you need a laugh after this… The most controversial logos EVER