Pentagram Updates Iconic 92nd Street ‘Y’

For over 150 years, New York’s 92nd Street Y has welcomed people of all backgrounds and persuasions for a broad range of activities and events to a community that was once local but now, thanks to the internet, extends around the world. The ‘Y’ in its name has always been a source of confusion for people who are surprised to find it hosting poetry readings, political debates, concerts and dance performances, along with the expected swimming classes and weight training. The challenge was to create a brand that could more effectively span the 92nd Street Y’s range of offerings and the audiences who would be attracted to them.

Pentagram has developed a new visual identity and name for the organization – now officially known as The 92nd Street Y, New York – that positions it for a global audience by anchoring it in the city it calls home. The program includes a new logo and shortened name, 92NY, a custom typeface, and messaging that reintroduces the institution as “Where New York meets the world.”

The new identity pays tribute to NYC with a proprietary typeface, 92NY Didi, a serif that nods to the typography of New York in the second half of the 20th century, when the city was consolidating its power as a center of communications and culture. Pentagram worked with type designer Jeremy Mickel to create a new version of Didi that suited to communications across print and digital, from small-scale mobile and social platforms to large posters and0banners. The logo is complemented by secondary typography set in the sans serif Theinhardt.

The new identity establishes a consistent brand architecture across the organization’s give operating pillars, giving each its own sub-brand: the 92NY Center for Children & Family, the 92NY Center for the Arts & Culture, the 92NY Center for Community, the 92NY Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, and the 92NY Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact.

Partner on the project is Michael Bierut. The project team includes Talia Cotton, Tamara McKenna and Gabriel Smoller. Type designer is Jeremy Mickel.