Established in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School with three teachers and 35 students, the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York today is one of the most well-known “art schools” in the U.S. (and around the world, given the amount of international students) with a faculty of more than 1,100 and a student body of over 4,000 representing 44 states and 71 foreign countries. SVA offers 11 undergraduate and 21 graduate degree programs across five different buildings in the city — the main one on 23rd Street and Third Avenue. A new logo was introduced earlier this month, designed in-house through the institution’s Visual Arts Press department and led by SVA’s Michael Walsh, director of design and digital media.
The new mark’s painterly quality pays tribute to [George] Tscherny’s original art [(1997)], in keeping with the hands-on experience that defines an SVA education. There’s also a new signature, simplified to just “SVA” and set in Brevia type. Meanwhile, the introduction of “NYC” reflects the strong link that exists between New York City and the College, where the faculty are among the city’s leading creative professionals.
SVA’s iconic flower logo is really all the institution needs to be recognized and it has done a great job over the years of planting it throughout the city but it has always been held back by the dainty serif wordmark that attempts to spell out the name of the institution. Keeping the flower was a no-brainer (and I doubt it was even an option before embarking on this exercise) and rendering it in a more textured look that is easier to reproduce these days than when it was originally introduced gives it a fresh start. Changing from red to blue is an interesting move, although it doesn’t seem as jarring as one would guess. The best upgrade comes in the new type — a bold and slightly goofy Brevia — that gives the logo a more playful bent than the conservative serif did and provides a much better lock-up with the flower. Overall, I like how much more contemporary the new logo feels and the extended lease of life given to the flower.
Thanks to Jeff Close for the tip.