Phaidon is the world’s premier publisher of books on the visual arts. We believe passionately in the creative act and aim to make it exciting and understandable by all and to celebrate its greatness in everything we produce. We have published books with some of the most creative artists, architects, designers, photographers and chefs of the 20th and 21st centuries. We work collaboratively with the creative arts world’s most inspiring names to achieve the most faithful representation of, and the truest insight into, the way those artists and visionaries interact with the world around them – whatever medium they work in.
Check out our books
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.
READ MORE ON GRAPHIC DESIGN
The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design features 500 iconic graphic designs. The dividers that come with this 'book in a box' allow you to define how you want to organise, whether it is chronologically, alphabetically, by designer or by subject.
Sign up to receive Phaidon stories via email