July 21, 2008. New York’s Museum of Modern Art recently announced the appointment of Julia Hoffmann as Creative Director of Advertising and Graphic Design. Hoffmann has already begun to alter the look and feel of the museum’s advertising and graphic design projects, including print, broadcast, outdoor and online advertising, exhibition graphics and signage, print materials and special projects. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Julia earned her graphic design degree from New York’s School of Visual Arts, where she now teaches. Hoffmann has worked as an art director at the Colorado-based agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, as well as New York design firm Pentagram. I.D. interviewed Hoffman about her new position. moma.org What do you bring to MoMA from your work with Pentagram and other firms that will be most helpful in your position as creative director?
I am actually excited to be able to bring a diverse mixture from two somewhat distinct yet connected disciplines; The classic graphic design background from Pentagram (cultural clients such as the Metropolitan Opera) and blend it with the interactive advertising experience I gained at CPB (Burger King, Nike and Volkswagen). I believe that they should work well together.
As you begin to remake communications design for the museum, are there any examples of strong design out there that will influence you?
I am influenced by everyday things. New York is a huge source of inspiration. But I stay away from “models” per se because I think you need to maintain a fresh perspective, particularly when starting a new journey, such as this one with MoMA.
Also, because MoMA has so many different components I want to stress the consumer experience, which goes beyond just a graphic design approach. What are you most looking forward to working on at MoMA? And what has MoMA been doing really well, in your opinion?
MoMA is a global powerhouse of a brand that has come to symbolize Modern Art. That says a lot about the team that they have and the work that they have done all these years. That said MoMA is an incredibly diverse institution in that it offers a huge variety of diverse activities such as music, cinema, classes, events, and on and on. I think not a lot of people are aware of this and my goal is to leverage the prestige of the brand to bring attention & notoriety to the other pieces that make up the whole. To do this I plan on using a lot more non-traditional means such interactive media, social networking to reach and engage a targeted audience wherever they are.