The final identity includes a new logo with two different “states”: a contracted state in which the letters are rearranged to mimic the undulating topology of the city's hilly terrain, intentionally set to feel as though it is about to move; and an expanded state that opens to become a frame in which content is viewed.
These two states actively respond to different formats and content and allow the identity to become a conceptual lens through which the program of the museum is experienced. On a functional level, the new logo is more space-efficient, allowing greater scale and legibility on everything from small digital screens to large street pole banners to the exterior signage on the front of the museum.
The visual identity also includes custom typefaces, SFMOMA Display and SFMOMA Text, whose curves mimic the gracious forms found in the letters of the new logo. To celebrate the architectural joining of the Mario Botta-designed building and the new Snohetta-designed building, a graphic pattern was developed that echoes the contrast of line and form found throughout the two buildings.
Inspired by the contrast between the Mario Botta-designed brick building and the cool white façade of the Snøhetta expansion, the primary color palette of the new visual identity includes warm red, white and black. Warm red is also one of the most visible colors through fog, sharing attributes of the color of the Golden Gate bridge.