04 April 2007

[logo_design] The Rise And Fall of The Portland Art Museum's Logo

750 Noted in passing was the new Portland Art Museum logo, which see to the right. At the time I noted it caught my attention for its cleverness; embedding the word ART and the interesting breaking up of the word Portland made it interesting to me.

Well, perhaps it's my proletarian upbringing, but it's starting to look like I'm the only person around who admired it at all. Noted here in the art blog PORT, it was roundly disliked as being hard to read and generally non-communicative.

Now, I'm not one to contradict others, but I must say I rather enjoyed the logo. But then, did I enjoy it as a technical exercise or an actual example of a working logo, one which meshes with what it represents and communicates? I think I can see the problems with it. Though the type play is very ingenious. this may be a case of being too clever by half–the logo is all about the gimmick.

Adding insult to the injury is apparently the fact which the logo cost some mumble thousand dollars to develop and create, which really smarts when the final product doesn't exactly go over well.

As noted by other sources, the logo never really even gained a foothold; I too had a hard time finding an adequately-sized logo for my own commentary (I nicked it from Jeff Fisher's bLog-oMotives...you give the word, Jeff, it goes, promise!).

So give it a good look, as it descends to the design and branding purgatory also inhabited by New Coke, the Apple Newton, and QuarkXPress's 2005 logo.

Sic transit gloria logo.

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Jeff Fisher LogoMotives said...

LOL! It is difficult to find confirmation that logo ever existed. I have a membership letter, a PDF file of the PAM press kit, and the web page screen capture from the Egypt exhibit to show it was not a figment of our imagination...

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Good job that you have the hard copy, too. It's not even on Google images, and when you can't find it on Google images, well....