Opened in 1988 in Barcelona, Arts Santa Mònica is a contemporary art museum without a permanent collection, hosting exhibits that showcase Catalan art, innovation, and thinking. Located in the popular La Rambla, Arts Santa Mònica is housed in an old convent that received an intervention, courtesy of architects Helio Piñón and Albert Viaplana, that placed a diagonal ramp and covering on the facade. Recently Santa Mònica introduced a new identity designed by Barcelona-based Mario Eskenazi.
The old logo was… interesting. Perhaps too much of a puzzle and not enough of a logo. But mostly, very fuzzy — a lot of little, separate pieces. The new logo makes a clear statement. It’s hard to not see it or pay attention to it. Typeset in a condensed style of Titling Gothic, the logo mimics the upward and downward incline of the building’s ramp to create an energetic wordmark that can be rendered in four configurations for flexible application. It’s not necessarily a “pretty” logo, sometimes the hard angles conflict with the rhythm of the implied diagonal but it’s those visual hiccups that sort of point back to the jarring combination of the old convent and the contemporary addition.
To keep things easy for applications, a custom script application was created to generate the step’d typography. Entering a word renders it in four configurations, each growing and shrinking from left and right. The resulting typography works great to make tight-fitting compositions that establish a consistent identity no matter what. Perhaps in a year or two the system will become a little repetitive and exhausting but, for now, it works really great. The addition of Maple, a more extended and quirkier sans serif, creates a good contrast with the primary typography. Overall, this is a very smart interpretation of a building’s design that also signals a different kind of arts organization with its own particular voice.