On the year of their 100th anniversary, the Newport Art Museum asked Malcolm Grear Designers to create a new visual identity to celebrate the occasion. One of the goals of the new visual identity system was to help the museum claim Newport, that is to proudly identify the Museum as a leading cultural Newport destination as well as a leading museum within the New England region. Therefore leveraging the tremendous name recognition that Newport already has as a tourist destination.
The new symbol with it’s custom-drawn lowercase letterforms portrays the Newport Art Museum as accessible, welcoming, and friendly while retaining a sense of an established and respected arts institution. The lowercase “a” within the surrounding lowercase “n” symbolically locates “art” inside, and at the heart of, “Newport.” Because the “a” letterform is the symbol’s counter-form and because of its particular shape and proportion, it gives the illusion of coming forward visually. This helps to communicate that “art” is central to the Newport Art Museum.