(Est. 1975, previously Craft and Folk Art Museum) “Located on Los Angeles’ historic Miracle Mile since 1965, Craft Contemporary reveals the potential of craft to educate, captivate, provoke, and empower. With a focus on contemporary art made from craft media and processes, Craft Contemporary presents dynamic exhibitions by established and emerging artists and designers who are often underrepresented in larger art institutions. Through a robust roster of regular programs and events, Craft Contemporary offers creative opportunities for the public to participate in hands-on workshops led by professional artists. Craft Contemporary cultivates an environment for people in Los Angeles to deepen their relationship to art, creativity, and one another.”
The larger brand refresh focuses on revealing the potential of craft. Craft Contemporary supports this strategic vision by assigning new weight and influence to craft. It turns the word “craft” into a verb, specifically the action of shaping and defining the future. It reads as an open invitation to all audiences—artists, viewers, community members, donors—to collectively engage in the process of making. Craft Contemporary has an alliterative elegance to it; the name feels especially significant and sophisticated in tone, which stylistically lifts and strengthens craft. Omitting “Museum” was intentional. The name belongs to a versatile space that is constantly changing and evolving. It is so much more than just a museum.
From the beginning, this museum was not to shy away from championing new artists or even avant-garde, provocative work. With this in mind, we created a monogram that communicates three things:
1.Bold geometric shapes coming together, to represent community
2.Outward facing triangles, speaking to the dissemination of arts and culture
3.A forward-facing triangle within the negative space, to visualize the pushing of boundaries.
Images (opinion after)
The old name was fine and I actually find it more descriptive of what I might encounter in the museum but I can see the benefit in changing to something that sounds newer rather than older. The problem with the new name is that it doesn’t make for a good logo given the extreme length of “contemporary” vs. “craft” so there is no easy configuration for a good logo and the chosen everything-in-one-line approach yields a really long logo. Typeset in a relatively nondescript sans serif it looks more like a sentence than an actual logo. To balance out the length of the name and logo-less-ness of the wordmark is a more graphic “C” monogram that, if you have ever used the Bragadoccio font — which is not something you should be doing — or have appreciated Paul Rand’s Colorforms identity, will look familiar. As nice and geometric as that “C” is I think it’s a shape that has been overplayed and doesn’t feel like a revelation in its choice here. To be fair, though, there are some good uses of it in this identity as seen in those flat paper-y things where the “C” aligns neatly with color fields or when it’s been filled with a texture as in the invitation. The other problem I feel exists is that there is no real relationship or synergy between the wordmark and the monogram — they are each doing their own thing. Based on the old logo, I can’t imagine the museum’s previous identity being too exhilarating so this change does seem beneficial but it’s a somewhat odd combination of things.
Thanks to Diane Faye Zerr for the tip.