Brand new year, brand new Cooper Hewitt identity by Pentagram
Following a three-year renovation, Cooper Hewitt is back with a bang. A bold new graphic identity, website, signage, way-finding and exhibition graphics created by none other than Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and Eddie Opara and their teams is here to remind us that a revitalized institution needs a new visual aesthetic. Opara’s customized characters for the museum word-mark have been fully developed into a new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, created by Chester Jenkins of Village in collaboration with Pentagram. The typeface is used throughout the museum’s graphics and is also available free to the public, who are encouraged to utilize it in their own designs. “We are spreading good design by making our elegant new typeface, Cooper Hewitt, available as a free download on cooperhewitt.org, as well as collecting it as an important example of the design process,” says Caroline Baumann, the museum’s director, of the font that has also been acquired for the institution’s permanent collection. This contemporary sans serif with characters comprised of modified geometric curves and arches evolved from a customization of Galaxie Polaris Condensed that Opara originally commissioned for the identity. The new font is redrawn from scratch, using the existing forms of Polaris as a rough guide. Opara and his team also collaborated with Cooper Hewitt on the design of the website, publications and exhibition graphics. “Cooper Hewitt’s new identity plays it straight, with no play on visual or theoretical complexity, no puzzling contradiction or ambiguity, no distracting authorship,” says Opara. “Function is its primary goal, and ultimately the logo is important, but not as important as what the museum does.” For more info on this project, check here and here.