Look At That, A New Old Logo

Carnegie Hall unveiled a new logo and branding content and at a time when most groups seem to be looking forward, they did an about face to settle with a copy and paste of existing designs.

For the full logo, they kept it simple and went with a text-only version that uses the same font found in an original stained glass windows. While there’s claim that the new version added “bespoke features to make it unique,” I’m not entirely sure that’s the case.

And then there’s the logomark. On one hand, kudos to Carnegie for creating a dedicated logomark, that’s exactly what groups should do. But instead of using the same uniquely bespoke (bespokely unique?) font, they pulled from another internal resource: a steel beam with the Carnegie name in embossed lettering:

In context, that makes sense but I can’t imagine anyone having that context internalized. If nothing else, the whole thing is a very sweet nod toward sentimentalism. Whether or not this is the time to embrace that direction, is a different discussion.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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