San Francisco Ballet Logo, Before and After

Some of the hardest identity projects are for cultural institutions: Long names coupled with (or replaced by) funny-sounding acronyms, high expectations, opinionated board members and a need to appear, well, cultured. [Book recommendation: C/ID]. Dance institutions (of any style and kind) prove even harder, as there is an added layer of complexity that revolves around the inevitable desire to convey the dynamism and movement of what is being shown on stage or offered in their programming. MetaDesign (of Erik Spiekermann and Adobe packaging fame) have taken this challenge and redesigned the identity of the San Francisco Ballet with an entrechat of cropped and baseline-shifted classic Didot and contemporary Galaxie Polaris.

San Francisco Ballet Logo Detail

MetaDesign explains the logo further:

The elements of the new logo are choreographed as if on a stage: A vibrant snapshot of an energized performance. The letters are orchestrated to suggest the dynamic nature of the ballet art form, while highlighting the dramatic production lighting and shadows created on-stage through the use of a sophisticated gray color palette.

Initially I was not too convinced about the new logo; more than energized, it felt slightly constrained and harsh, and I am not a fan of lowercase t’s without the left end of their crossbar (like Kate’s). But with more extended viewing, I find this logo to be convincing in its implied dynamism and serious in its execution, giving the SF Ballet a memorable and recognizable identity that goes beyond a typesetting job of the institution’s name. Certainly a grand jeté.

filed under Culture and tagged with

Reviewed June 3, 200706.03.07 by Armin

↓ Poll

Excerpt Empty


This entry was generated in the previous layout of the site. Images and styling will be slightly off.

Poll and results are shown at the end of the post in the main content area.



Upcoming BNConfs

Chicago 2017
Pre-sale tickets are now available for the 2017 Brand New Conference in Chicago on September 14 – 15.

Europe 2018
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.