Museum for African Art brand identity design

During construction, the Museum for African Art (MFAA) wanted to conceal the work in progress, while teasing what’s to come and allowing full access to the public space near Duke Ellington Circle, as well as preserve the views of the park from the interior. Even under construction, the sight line from the second floor to the Harlem Meer was not to be missed.

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Robert A. M. Stern developed a window pattern based on African textiles and domiciles. To conceal without concealing, OCD layered on a second, third and fourth application of African patterning. These were translated into the MFAA brand colors and modernized a bit. The effect is a peek-a-boo teaser that lets the light shine in and out.

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

The AfriSans typeface is the core of the MFAA identity system. Inspired by the building’s architecture, each letterform locks into the figures around it. To build a fully integrated system, every letterform had to be drawn and programmed twice: opening up and opening down. Each headline makes a uniquely Museum for African Art tesselating statement.

AfriSans Light

AfriSans Medium

AfriSans Black

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity designFall Benefit & Silent Auction, invitation system

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity design

Museum for African Art brand identity designCapital Campaign, customisable consistency.

AfriSans

Design: Jennifer Kinon, Bobby C. Martin Jr.
Typography: Jesse Ragan
Photography: Ari Burling

Museum for African Art brand identity design

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November 17, 2011

Comments

It’s really nice that the color pallet doesn’t go for the usual brown and green. Also the AfriSans is an amazing type family.

I like the window patterns which are based on African textiles and domiciles. But I am a bit unsure about the rest of the profile being so heavily influenced by the building instead of Africa.

Wow that is one serious piece of typeface design, I love that they saw typography as the most appropriate way of communicating their values. A good example of a well thought out and strategic approach.

Really impressed by their thought process behind the typeface. Crazy genius to have two alternate letters for every letter so that they open up or down depending on how they sit next to one another.

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