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“The Fat Lady has Fallen”

(Est. 1963) “Minnesota Opera, [a performance organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota] led by President and General Director Ryan Taylor, combines a culture of creativity and fiscal responsibility to produce opera and opera education programs that expand the art form, nurture artists, enrich audiences, and contribute to the vitality of the community.”

Design by

Related links
Minnesota Opera launch page

Relevant quote
The new Minnesota Opera logo is built on a system of flexibility. The rotation of key letters within the logo shows the Minnesota Opera is always looking to present opera in unexpected ways. A number of different logo orientations have been designed to work within this system, ranging from simple to complex.

In addition to a new logo, a palette of visual elements creates additional visual interest for Minnesota Opera’s new look. Each figure is based on the vibration pattern of a surface resonating at a specific frequency. As the frequency increases, the patterns become more complex. These figures are sound made visual.

Images (opinion after)

New Logo for Minnesota Opera
New Logo for Minnesota Opera
New Logo for Minnesota Opera
Vibration pattern figures. (Based on this.)
New Logo for Minnesota Opera
Presentation graphic.

The old logo was bad, with an oversized “O”, extra-tightly-spaced “PERA”, and needlessly loosely-spaced “Minnesota”. Despite all being in a single font, it looked disjointed and inconsistent. The one nice thing I can say about the new logo is that it’s consistent and the monospace approach is kind of interesting, especially in the “M N / O P” combo that then serves as the social media icon. However, I just don’t get why they would tip over a letter. It doesn’t look like “the Minnesota Opera is always looking to present opera in unexpected ways”, it looks like “the Minnesota Opera’s letters always tend to fall backwards and can’t get up”. It comes across as a mistake more than a deliberate, meaningful brand message. The squiggly tiles are cool because the reference point is cool, not because it’s original or in graphic sync with the logo. Overall, a redesign was definitely needed and this had the right ambitions but the result doesn’t reach the high notes.