Art Gallery of NSW launches new visual identity

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Art Gallery of NSW has launched a new visual identity.

The announcement:

A new visual identity for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, created in collaboration with the Australian office of international design studio, Mucho, draws inspiration from the Art Gallery’s history and the future ambitions of the Sydney Modern Project.

With references to the Art Gallery of NSW’s collection and architecture, the visual identity includes a newly designed logo for the first time in 23 years, as well as the creation of a custom typeface.

The logo is central to a flexible and accessible identity system that reflects the dynamic institution and its increasingly broad range of audiences. Composed of three open-framed squares, the symbol references architectural features of the Art Gallery’s new and existing buildings.

The Art Gallery’s position on Gadigal Country overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful harbours has inspired the signature ultramarine blue, named for the artist Brett Whiteley whose celebrated paintings of Sydney Harbour are much loved by visitors. Describing this electric blue in 1987, Whiteley said, “Ultramarine blue hits my nervous system in such an exciting way – there’s no other colour…”

The custom typeface is named in honour of Sydney modernist, artist and designer Margaret Preston for her contribution to Australian art and art history, and for her special significance to the Art Gallery of NSW.

The typeface, Preston, has been designed specifically for the Art Gallery by Vincent Chan from Matter of Sorts to create distinction and consistency across the new visual identity. It draws on research into the history of Australian graphic design from the 1960s–90s by Chan and Mucho creative director Dominic Hofstede.

Preston channels a particular attitude, affectionately termed Mongrel Modernism – a kind of Antipodean-digested version of European ideals — by specifically referencing the prevalence of Adrian Frutiger’s iconic Univers typeface. Preston has been designed with an extended character set including support for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Of the new visual identity, Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand said: “As we celebrate our 150th anniversary and prepare for the completion in 2022 of the Sydney Modern Project, we were presented with a timely opportunity to refresh the Art Gallery’s visual identity. Our objective is to provide a refined clarity to our status as a key contributor to the cultural life of Sydney and Australia and we have enjoyed working closely with Mucho and Matter of Sorts to achieve this aim.”

Mucho creative director Dominic Hofstede said the new visual identity system provides the Art Gallery with a dynamic, layered, responsive and multi-faceted identity.

“We’re honoured to have partnered with the Art Gallery of NSW on this most significant project. Research is central to our practice, and we began by exploring the Art Gallery’s extensive archives. History, in its myriad forms, emerged as a central narrative for the identity. The final outcome is the result of a truly collaborative process, and we’re looking forward to seeing the identity play a key role in the Art Gallery’s transformation,” Hofstede said.

Art Gallery of NSW head of creative Ujin Lee said the Art Gallery design team worked in partnership with Mucho to develop the new identity and is delighted to be implementing it across the Gallery’s many channels and sub-brands.

“It’s a flexible identity that allows us freedom to experiment and adapt according to the needs of our art museum now and in the future, both in Australia and internationally,” Lee said.

Visit our website to see the new style – and stay tuned over the coming months as we celebrate 150 years of art, culture and history from the #ArtGalleryNSW.

Source: Art Gallery of NSW media release


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.