Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy of the Arts is one of Britain’s oldest institutions, with a mission to support, promote and create visual arts through exhibitions, education and discussion.
For Harry Pearce, creating a new identity for this 244-year old institution was about being sensitive to the past, bringing authority to the present and creating a foundation for a confident future. Pearce and his team worked alongside Jane Wentworth and Will Dallimore at the RA on the strategy and communication of a new identity. The challenge was to produce a set of design principles appropriated from the RA’s history but expressed in a modernist form, and to develop a visual language that would not be lost in the background but could also stand with authority in the foreground.
The design system Pearce created allows the Academy to become a confident and sensitive author of all its visual material. It takes its lead from the institution’s history, with the core typefaces, Caslon and Azkidenz, illustrating graphic nuances from classical to modern, and the new, typographical RA symbol inspired by type forms from some of its early posters.
Pearce says, “To breathe visual life back into this wonderful institution has been a great privilege”.
Have any questions about the RA’s new identity? Then join us on Monday 10th of December between 11am and 12pm GMT for a live Q&A on Twitter and ask Harry in person. Tweet @pentagram and use the hashtag: #RAQA.
Project Team: Harry Pearce, partner-in-charge and designer; Tiffany Fenner, project manager; Diogo Soares, Jason Ching, Sean Chilvers, Turlough Fortune and Daren Howells, designers.
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