Posts by Julia Hoffmann
April 8, 2013  |  Behind the Scenes, Design
One Typeface Fits All at MoMA

Although there are a million typefaces to choose from, MoMA Design Studio chose to only use one typeface for the majority of The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition identities. Why?

MoMA Gothic typeface. Typeface designed by Matthew Carter

MoMA Gothic typeface. Typeface designed by Matthew Carter

At MoMA, we are tasked to design roughly 40 different title walls each year to accompany a wide variety of exhibitions. To manage workload, we made the decision four years ago to have two-thirds of the workload “templatized” by sticking to one typeface—our house font, MoMA Gothic (which is based on Franklin Gothic)—for all collection rotations. Read more

August 11, 2011  |  Behind the Scenes, Design
Show-offs: A New Portfolio Website for MoMA’s Design Studio

Creating designs that eventually disappear is both a relief and sad at the same time. It’s like rehearsing for a play for months and months, and then—poof!—the performance is over and only photos and memories are left. Exhibition graphics are similar. Read more

November 27, 2009  |  Behind the Scenes, Design
An Average Day At the Museum reinterpreted by Christoph Niemann

Left: Diagram, Average Day at the Museum: The Year's Work: Annual Report to the Board of Trustees and Corporation Members of the Museum of Modern Art for the Year June 30, 1939–July 1, 1940. Annual reports 1931–40. MoMA Archives. Right: Detail.

An average day at the Museum, which appeared in MoMA’s annual report in 1940, was designed by the in-house graphic design department as a way to show the diverse activities taking place at the Museum. The design has been resurrected in recent years on products such as totebags and notepads in the MoMA Design Store. We always liked this infographic, and wondered what a cross-section of MoMA would look like today, seventy years later? Christoph Niemann, whose illustrations appear in The New Yorker and on his blog Abstract City, was the perfect candidate to update the illustration for 2009. While the activities stayed roughly the same, the physical space has changed drastically. For this post I asked Niemann to shed some light on his process and the challenges involved in creating this new illustration, which we used to announce this year’s fall exhibition season. Read more

The Making of Tim Burton’s MoMA Animation

To help promote MoMA’s Tim Burton retrospective, we asked Burton himself to animate the MoMA logo for a thirty-second video that would be used to promote the exhibition on television, at the Museum, and online. Tim quickly came up with a concept utilizing stop-motion animation, and he asked Allison Abbate, his producer on Corpse Bride (2005) and the upcoming full-length version of Frankenweenie, if she could help pull things together. Read more