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“Because “Culture 1.6 Kilometers” would be Brutal”

(Est. 2017) “The City of London Corporation, together with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, have announced plans for a major destination for culture and creativity in the Square Mile. Unveiled today as ‘Culture Mile‘, this ambitious and transformational initiative will create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City over the next 10 to 15 years. Stretching just under a mile from Farringdon to Moorgate, Culture Mile will have creative exchange, cultural collaboration and learning at its core in an area where 2,000 years of history collide with the world’s best in culture.”

Design by
Pentagram (London, UK; Marina Willer, partner)

Related links
Pentagram project page
City of London Corporation press release

Relevant quote
The logotype acts as a viewfinder for animated content showcasing existing images of the partner institutions’ activities, details of the area’s distinct architecture and photographs of everyday life. The logotype’s letterforms share the geometry of the Barbican’s world-famous brutalist architecture, making it both a holder and representative of the Culture Mile’s location.

The influence of the area’s buildings is carried through to the identity’s typefaces, OCR-CM and New Rail Alphabets, chosen for their simple, architectural character.

Images (opinion after)

New Logo for Culture Mile by Pentagram
Logo.
New Logo for Culture Mile by Pentagram
Logo-as-window.
New Logo for Culture Mile by Pentagram
Logo-as-window posters
New Logo for Culture Mile by Pentagram
Logo-as-window ads.
Logo animation.

Opinion
As a hardcore admirer of Brutalist architecture, anything Brutalist — logos, cupcakes, whatever — gets my immediate affection and this logo is pulling all the right strings. The same thick slab is used to build all the letters and the minimal curvature helps define the “m” and the “E”. This is one of the rare cases where I’m also digging the ambiguous upper-lowercase relationship. If there is any drawback to the logo is that maybe there is far too much emphasis on “mile” and what’s important about this location isn’t the length of it but what’s within it, which is “culture” (which plays a minor role in the logo). The logo-as-window approach works, mostly because it always works, but I wish there were more to it than just the typical juxtaposition of background and content. The applications shown are barely applications, just more logos-as-windowses and perhaps therein lies room for exploration beyond the confined walls of the logo-as-window treatment.