The Whitney Museum has a new mark: a dynamic W that responds to the artworks and words around it. Designed by Dutch design studio Experimental Jetset, the new graphic identity embraces the inventive spirit of the Museum, and signals other changes afoot as the Whitney prepares to move to its new building in May.
As the Whitney approaches the opening of its new building in 2015, Museum staff are taking stock of all aspects of programming and operations. While much of this work is happening behind the scenes, one very visible aspect of this focus is the Whitney’s graphic identity. While the Museum has changed considerably in the thirteen years since it introduced the word mark designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram, even more extensive institutional changes will come with the move downtown.
Two years ago, Museum staff began a thoughtful internal dialogue regarding the Whitney’s graphic identity and selected the design studio Experimental Jetset to develop an approach which embraces the spirit of the Museum while serving as a visual ambassador for our new building. The result is a distinctive and inventive graphic system that literally responds to art—a fundamental attribute of the Whitney since its founding in 1930. This dynamic identity, which the designers refer to as the “responsive ‘W’”, also illustrates the Museum’s ever-changing nature. In the upcoming years it will provide an important point of continuity for members, visitors, and the public during the transition to the new space.
For more information about Experimental Jetset’s own take on the graphic identity, visit their website.
Experimental Jetset is a small, independent, Amsterdam-based graphic design studio, founded in 1997 by (and still consisting of) Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen. Focusing on printed matter and site-specific installations, and describing their methodology as “turning language into objects”, Experimental Jetset have worked on projects for a wide variety of institutes. Their work has been featured in group exhibitions such as ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’ (Walker Art Center, 2011) and ‘Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language’ (MoMA, 2012). Solo exhibitions include ‘Kelly 1:1’ (Casco Projects, Utrecht, 2002) and ‘Two or Three Things I Know About Provo’ (W139, Amsterdam, 2011). In 2007, a large selection of work by Experimental Jetset was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for inclusion in the MoMA’s permanent collection.
Members of Experimental Jetset have been teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2000–2014), and are currently teaching at Werkplaats Typografie (2013–now).