Reviewed

Van Gogh Museum Logo, Before and After

Established in 1973 in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum holds over 200 paintings as well as drawings and letters of Vincent van Gogh. More than 1.5 million people visit every year, making it the most visited museum in the Netherlands and, according to research by The Art Newspaper, it is the 23rd most visited museum in the world. Earlier this month the museum introduced a new identity designed by Amsterdam-based Koeweiden Postma.

From today the Van Gogh Museum has a new corporate identity built around the artist’s characteristic brush strokes, his use of blue and yellow as featured in the enormously popular works Sunflowers and Almond Blossom, and quotes from Van Gogh’s letters. […]

“Our new logo is a square inspired by the form of the museum’s Rietveld building. It is a stamp with which we want to ‘brand’ our name upon all that we do”, says Rüger. “The ‘footprint’, a new form element in our corporate identity, symbolises Van Gogh’s characteristic brush strokes.”[…]

[The] storytelling is expressed in the new corporate identity in the form of quotes which we will be using as a permanent feature, for example ‘…the painting comes to me as if in a dream.’, ‘I want to make drawings that move some people.’, and ‘…in a painting I’d like to say something consoling, like a piece of music.’
Press Release

Van Gogh Museum

Logo with “footprint” mark. Corporate colors above, extended palette below.

Van Gogh Museum

The previous logo wasn’t too bad, a little generic and a slightly disproportionate and fat “G” but not bad. The same could be said of the new logo by itself, it’s not too bad and a little generic: like other museums it’s just type in a square. It’s peculiar in that it is typeset flush right, which is a rarity and is almost disorienting but it creates a nice rhythm, top to bottom, of the “n”, “h”, and “m” lining up nicely. The logo, and the rest of the identity is set in Gotham Rounded, although it looks like the “g” has been cut off on the bottom — perhaps a nod to Van Gogh’s own chopped hearing appendage. The logo becomes a solid foundation and acquires its personality when paired with Koeweiden Postma’s wonderful interpretation of Van Gogh’s brush strokes. Nicknamed the “footprint” this texture carries the common denominator of a Van Gogh painting without being too literal and it creates a great texture to build the whole identity upon.

Van Gogh Museum

The museum distributes around 50,000 poster tubes and 250,000 bags every year. From today the new “sunflower yellow” poster tubes and bags will be a familiar sight on the streets of Amsterdam.
Press Release

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

The identity is very restrained in its application, everything is simple and on a strict grid becoming almost expectable but there is a very perfect balance achieved through the combination of the bold color palette, the contemporary look of Gotham Round and the footprint textures, set against Van Gogh’s work, each element complementing the next to create a fresh identity.

Reviewed June 21, 201106.21.11 by Armin


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