Irma Boom Designs a New Logo and House Style for the Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is nearing the end of a decade-long renovation and restoration project by the Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz. As a prelude to its reopening next April, the museum has just unveiled its new logo, designed by Irma Boom. “My starting point was the fact that the Rijksmuseum is a national museum with international appeal,” Boom said in a press release. “The design is clear and powerful and anchors the museum in the present.”

It is certainly has a more contemporary feeling than the museum’s previous logo, which was designed by Studio Dumbar around 1980:

The updated logo is part of a revamped house style for the museum, also designed by Boom. It includes a new color palette based on highlights of the museum’s collection, as well as a typeface called Rijksmuseum, by Paul van der Laan of the foundry Bold Monday.

You can see a little of Van der Laan’s typeface and some samples of the new color palette in the collateral materials below.

Update: The folks at That New Design Smell suggest reading this Wikipedia entry on the IJ diagraph in Dutch—and it is, indeed, useful background for anyone wondering about the IJ treatment in Boom’s logo.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Victor, this I_J ligature is not the invention of the wheel, so no profound new meaning has been created… (perhaps for the international design community?). i am pretty sure it was used before *several* other times in the netherlands.
    one simple, and clumsy, example:http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/nl~hfp.html#phf another one, much nicer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shotype/5100229347/   
    you might find several others samples online.

  2. Seems no one has spotted that typographically, I & J would leave an undesirable gap. or he would have to cut the I into the J, of which you would still fester in more accusations. I like it when a designer professionally solves a problem whilst also taking advantage of profound new meaning. Designers tend to think design is about being flash. No that logo works well and I applaud his act of bravado and the client’s acceptance of it. It will sink in and will sit confortably for years to come. Just see how well it fits neutrally on the branded examples. Good work.

  3. Aliz, yes. that’s obvious, isn’t it? but which kind of museum are we talking about? i am not a specialist, i’ve been there only once, but in my opinion the logo doesn’t show Rijks museum identity at all. i mean, it’s nicely done, and i like the IJ digraph solution, even knowing that will cause legibility issues for a lot o people that are not used to dutch language. when I first saw the logo, i thought that other branding elements could save the project, but it seems that’s not the case. the same about the custom type: well done, but bland. it could be a typeface for anything else. looks like type aimed at automobile branding not a cultural institution extremely connected with history and art. in the end, it seems that the designer’s identity is speaking louder than the museum identity… it’s a pity.