A Museum’s brand is a vital part to its future. Today, when museums exist as multiple personalities—virtual, physical, and then in people’s memories—the brand of a museum acts as a necessary tool for the museum to assert and maintain these diverse personalities. From the actual look of the logo to the acronym or shortened name—MoMA, The Met, WHITNEY, DIA, etc.—to the location, to the subject matter to the architecture, every aspect of a museum works to establish a brand identity for a museum. Branding not only to defines and establish identity, but also acts as a mutli-tooled and multi-modal perpetuation of advertisement of that identity.
The development of design firms which design museum identities in entirety—from the exhibition to the logo to the letterhead—reveals how the branding process has changed from a graphic designer creating a logo to a large production team that works to create a full-packaged deal. Though this format may be appealing—buy everything at once and in one place—I question such a formatting of identity. When one firm works to develop every detail and feature of a museum, do we risk these places becoming sites of over-design?
And here is another question—how do you brand the Museum of Brands?