With the announcement of its 2021-2022 season, Carnegie Hall has unveiled a new look to be incorporated across all its communication tools, promotional materials, and online platforms. For the project, the institution partnered with New York City-based branding and design agency Champions Design to consider the Hall’s visual identity, not only in light of its 130-year history but also to reflect the totality of the institution’s greatly expanded programming in recent times. The collaboration with Champions Design began in 2019, and has included both the development of the new identity and the Hall’s response to the pandemic.
As signature components of the identity system, the design firm has developed a logo inspired by the distinctive stained-glass lettering atop the poster cases outside the Hall. Another key element is a Carnegie Hall monogram, intended to accompany the logo. The graphic device is adapted from embossed lettering on an original beam of Carnegie steel discovered during the 2014 renovation of the building’s upper floors. Both the logo and the monogram are red – a color visually associated with Carnegie Hall for decades.
Drawing further inspiration from the iconic poster cases, “Carnegie Hall Blue” is one of two secondary colors while the second supporting color, “Carnegie Hall Rose,” is inspired by the upholstery of the original seats in the main auditorium. The plan is for a new color to be assigned each season, paired with Carnegie Hall Red, to distinguish each season. Plum will be featured for the 2021-2022 season.
According to Champions Design: “There is a magical feeling you get when you walk onto the red carpet of Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage and then you hear that very first unamplified note resounding, clear as day, across the room. It’s the universal and totally involuntary stirring of awe and excitement that comes with music and achievement and shared experience. The hope is for the new brand to extend that feeling beyond the red carpet and bring the transformative power of Carnegie Hall to as many people as possible.”
Color, typography, and photography treatments have been updated to be more consistent with the in-person experience of engaging with the Hall, and to support its commitment to accessibility across online and print mediums. “Our new system is flexible enough to speak to a range of audiences and adapt to multiple promotional mediums, and distinctive enough to stand the test of time,” said Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson.