Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Seeing as I represent the West Coast I thought it was only right to discuss the new logo/identity system for the Oakland Museum of California. Ok, so it's not exactly a world renowned museum, but I think it's an interesting and dramatic redesign worth discussing. Looking at the old logo I can see why they felt the need to update it; unfortunately, we have another case of trying to modernize an identity only to fail in execution. The positive: it's a solid concept of blocking out the letters in a letterpress style emphasizing the O-M-C-A acronym (an attempt to follow the more influential MOMAs and MOCAs of the world). The negative: failure to execute the strong concept. In my opinion, it looks like the first (ok, maybe second or third) draft instead of a final product. The varying weights of the letters look awkward and disjointed. Similarly, it lacks the same sophistication of the original logo. If the main goal was to emphasize the O-M-C-A, I think the designer should have just distingushed these letters as the main logo. A successful comparison can be seen in the logo and identity for San Francisco's MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora)- an identity that has always caught my attention (see image below).

I don't think that I've visited the Oakland Museum of California since an elementary school field trip many, many years ago, and to be honest, I can't say this new identity is making me rush back. But hey, next time I'm driving through Oakland I might swing by to see how it looks.

No comments: