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New Logo for New York Philharmonic by MetaDesign



Noted Feb. 9, 2016 by Armin

Industry / Culture Tags /


(Est. 1842) “The New York Philharmonic — a cultural leader in New York City, the United States, and the world — will connect with up to 50 million music lovers in the 2014-15 season through performances, education programs, and broadcasts. Having commissioned and/or premiered works by leading composers from every era, the Orchestra now champions contemporary music through CONTACT! and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL. Other recent initiatives include the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, national and international partnerships to cultivate tomorrow’s orchestral musicians. Renowned around the world, having appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries, America’s oldest symphony orchestra has been a media pioneer, releasing almost 2,000 recordings since 1917 and today sharing live performances through downloads and online. Alan Gilbert became Music Director in 2009, succeeding 20th-century musical giants including Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.”

Design by

MetaDesign (San Francisco, CA)

Related links

New York Philharmonic news page
MetaDesign project page
2009 Brand New post

Relevant quote
The new visual identity evokes qualities that define this Orchestra: virtuosity, dynamism, sophistication, and confidence. The dynamic arrangement of letters and varied extensions of select letters suggests the excitement of live performance and the harmony of individual members of a large ensemble working together to achieve a singular effect.

New York Philharmonic news page

Images (opinion after)
New Logo for New York Philharmonic by MetaDesign
Logo detail.
New Logo for New York Philharmonic by MetaDesign
Instructions to extend.
Logo animation.
New Logo for New York Philharmonic by MetaDesign
New Logo for New York Philharmonic by MetaDesign
2016-17 season launch event.

From the beginning I was a fan of the previous logo designed by Paula Scher. It was (and still is) unlike any other logo out there. I'm not saying it's the best logo ever or my favorite but it was quite peculiar and had a great energy to it. The new one aims to capture the same energy not just of the previous logo but of symphony logos everywhere but it does so in a very unrefined and unsurprising way. Extending the loose ends of the type feels like an exercise we all go through as designers when we first start out and then realize it's not a good idea. So that's strike number 1 against the logo. Then there is the frenetic baseline and, um, ceiling-line shifting that bounces around to convey dynamism but, yeah, it just looks messy. Strike number 2. Then there are the unnecessary and unfortunate ligatures that create weird pockets of ink (literal and digital). Strike number 3. To add insult to injury there is a giant "O" in "yOrk" because virtuosity. Strike number 4, even when logistically impossible. Overall, a solid entry for Worst of the Year in 2016.

Thanks to Dan Ruccia for the tip.

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