At 244 years old, the Royal Academy of the Arts is one of the UK’s oldest art institutions. What a responsibility, then to be tasked with revamping its identity. Luckily, the academy chose a safe – meaning experienced – pair of hands in Harry Pearce of Pentagram. His job was to come up with a new marque that suggests the institution’s rich heritage in a modern guise. Or as Pentagram puts it, it was “about being sensitive to the past, bringing authority to the present and creating a foundation for a confident future”.
For the main logo, Pearce created a typographical RA symbol – the initials the place is generally known as - inspired by some of the academy’s first poster campaigns. This logo is supported by the typefaces Azkidenz and Caslon, with the latter spelling out the institution’s full name.
It’s certainly a warmer look than that which the RA was sporting until recently. Previously, the sans serif four words stood to attention in a pillar box red square. Pentagram has a raft of arts institution logos under its belt, from the Dallas Museum of Art and the V&A to the Whitney Whitney Museum of American Art as well as branding for MoMA. See more of Pentagram's work on its site site and in our own Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design. And let us know what you think about the logo.