The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam’s logo has undergone a controversial redesign, courtesy of Mevis & Van Deursen. The duo, currently without a website, have been collaborating since they graduated in 1986 from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. The museum, which displays classic modern art, contemporary art and design, is currently closed due to renovation and will be opening on the 23rd September this year. The new branding has caused dissent, with numerous people asking for a “dislike” button on this Facebook post from Dutch blog, Vormplatform.
The logo features a large san-serif S, made up of the letters of the museum’s name. The typeface used is Union, created by typographer Radim Peško, and is a very inoffensive mixture of Helvetica and Arial. Union is also used for the museum’s signage, with directions being visually represented in the form of angled typography.
On Creative Review, Mevis and Van Deursen comment that their design came from “more of a need to ‘earth’ the museum. The idea was that, after this identity, anyone could start from scratch.
“We started with the full name – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam – and tried to turn that into a sign. Of course we were aware of Wim Crouwel’s famous ‘SM’, the ‘SMCS’ of Experimental Jetset and the ‘T’ we had used for the Temporary Stedelijk.”
The museum, established in 1985, is being renovated under the direction of Mels Crouwel, of Benthem Crouwel Architects and when re-opened will be displaying its collection by artists such as Marc Chagall, Vincent Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock, Kurt Schwitters and Andy Warhol. The museum also previously held the Wim Crouwel – A Graphic Odyssey exhibition. The collection is now going to be focused more on contemporary art.
What do you think of the new logo? Is it bold, brilliant, unusual or absurd?