Director's Letter: Spring 2018

A New Look for the New Hood

John Stomberg, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director
Hood Quarterly, spring 2018

Spring provides a perfect moment for us to launch our updated graphic identity. Like the season, the Hood’s new logo, house style, and website will reflect change, growth, and creativity. We have engaged a major graphic designer, Abbott Miller of Pentagram, to work closely with the architects to find a way of presenting the museum graphically—both the building and the institution. Our new look echoes our renewed spirit and will permeate everything visual that we do. Visitors will see our brand identity on the façade of the building and the label text of our galleries; colleagues will notice it in the letters we send and our business cards; internet users will find myriad instances of it on the redesigned website; and all of you can see it in front of you now—the first redesign of the Hood Quarterly in over fifty issues!

We are truly excited by the sense of progress and innovation that Abbott Miller and the Pentagram team has incorporated into our graphic identity. We wanted something that would keep pace with the intelligence and enduring aesthetics articulated for us by the architecture. While this may seem subtle, graphics are like a pervasive spice flavoring a signature dish. As with our sense of taste, we are also quite visually acute, and we respond emotionally to visual stimuli even when we are not totally aware of it.

This is the graphic designer’s art—shaping experience in a manner sometimes so restrained that it is readily overlooked. As an institution dedicated to teaching visual literacy, we have been particularly invested in the process of defining a look for the new museum that is reserved but effective. We want everyone involved with the Hood to perceive us as open to new ideas, ready to collaborate, and willing to take chances; and the museum as an adaptable laboratory, a place of discovery and wonder, and the host of an ever-changing banquet of visual delectation. That is a lot to ask of a logo.

I think you will agree, though, that the graphics live up to the challenge. We have an identity that matches in its bold grace, if you will, the work of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien on the building. For that, we are grateful for the insightful and inspiring design created for us by Abbott Miller and Pentagram. Enjoy the new us.


Tags: Quarterly

Written April 16, 2018