Carnegie Hall Unveils Fresh New Look with Launch of 2021–2022 Season
Created in Partnership with Champions Design, Carnegie Hall’s Updated Visual Identity Includes New Logo and Monogram Inspired by Architectural Details of 130-Year-Old Landmark Building
(New York, NY, June 9, 2021)— With the announcement this week of its 2021–2022 season, Carnegie Hall has also unveiled a fresh new look, reflective of its magical and visionary spirit, now incorporated across all its communication tools, promotional materials, and online platforms.
For this exciting project, Carnegie Hall partnered with award-winning, New York City-based Champions Design to consider the Hall’s visual identity, not only in light of its 130-year history but also in how the institution’s programming has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years.
Over more than two years working closely with Carnegie Hall stakeholders, the design team embarked on a research-grounded process that began with a deep exploration of Carnegie Hall’s history, stories, and people. While considering the Hall’s aspirations for the future, the team also went back to the Hall’s roots, inspired by compelling architectural details that sprang from the landmark building itself.
As signature components of a full identity system, the Hall has introduced a new Carnegie Hall logo inspired by the distinctive stained-glass lettering atop the poster cases outside the Hall. Another key element is a Carnegie Hall monogram, designed to accompany the logo, a new graphic device adapted from embossed lettering on an original beam of Carnegie steel discovered during the 2014 renovation of the Hall’s upper floors.
Both the logo and monogram are red—a color that has been visually associated with Carnegie Hall for decades. Drawing further inspiration from the iconic poster cases, “Carnegie Hall Blue” is one of two new secondary colors. The second supporting color, “Carnegie Hall Rose,” was inspired by the upholstery of the original seats in the Hall’s main auditorium. In addition, a new color will be assigned each season, paired with Carnegie Hall Red, to distinguish one season from another (plum was selected for the 2021–2022 season) tying together programming across areas. 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.
“After more than two years of work, we are incredibly proud to share this beautiful new look for Carnegie Hall which captures so many of the things that make the Hall unique. 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.
Visit carnegiehall.org/brand for more information about this project.
A New Carnegie Hall Logo
Carnegie Hall's new logo
At the time of the ceremonial laying of the cornerstone for Andrew Carnegie's Music Hall on 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, Midtown Manhattan was more than 40 blocks south. But as the subway system inched its way north, so, too, did New York City’s hub of activity. The bright lights moved uptown— including the development of what came to be known as Times Square—and Carnegie Hall began to undergo one of its largest renovations since its opening. In 1916, the original Hall architect William Burnet Tuthill returned to make some changes, including a new marquee and other exterior updates. When the adjacent subway station opened at the foot of Carnegie Hall on July 10, 1919, new poster cases adorned the building at street level, featuring electrically lit canopies of opaque, cream colored stained glass with Carnegie Hall emblazoned in royal blue.
Carnegie Hall’s new logo takes inspiration from the stained glass lettering that decorates the poster cases outside the Hall on Seventh Avenue, adding bespoke features that make it unique. The wordmark itself is flexible and responsive, and can be displayed in a straight line, stacked, or vertically. The wordmark replaces the Hall’s former logo which had been in place since the 1980s.
The Carnegie Hall Monogram
Carnegie Hall's new monogram
Successfully producing quality steel quickly and inexpensively, Andrew Carnegie pushed the industry forward as his beams and girders accelerated the development and proliferation of skyscrapers. By 1897, Carnegie’s mills produced nearly 50% of all the structural steel in the United States. Carnegie steel has undergirded the Hall throughout various phases of its development. During the most recent renovation of Carnegie Hall’s upper floors, completed in 2014, a beam was uncovered that had been embossed with the Carnegie moniker—proof that Andrew Carnegie assertation at the laying of the cornerstone in 1890, that his Music Hall would be “built to stand for ages.”
Carnegie Hall’s new monogram is a graphic device, designed to accompany the new logo, with lettering adapted from the original beam.
The Carnegie Hall Design System
In Andrew Carnegie’s initial founding of the Hall he said, “All good causes may here find a platform.” Music is a catalyst for human growth, and the Hall provides extraordinary opportunities to access and enjoy music in all of its forms. The groundbreaking work being done today—from concert programming to education and social impact initiatives—delivers the transformative power of music to as many people as possible.
Carnegie Hall’s new comprehensive design system including logo, monogram, color, dynamic layout, storytelling typography, and hyper-focus on performer imagery is crafted to deliver a venue-like experience wherever the brand may travel and in whatever medium the Hall’s audience may find it.
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Champions Design is a branding and design agency formerly known as OCD | The Original Champions of Design. Founded in 2010 by Bobby Martin and Jennifer Kinon, the firm has crafted meaningful brand strategy and visual identity systems for a wide range of clients such as Amazon, Apple, Dartmouth College, Girl Scouts, MTV, the National Basketball Association and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Since it opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for musical excellence as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest artists. From Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Mahler, and Bartók to George Gershwin, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, and The Beatles, music making by a long list of artists representing the best of every genre has filled Carnegie Hall over the years. The Hall’s unique history has grown out of its stunning acoustics, the beauty of its three concert halls, and its location in New York City, where it has played a central role in helping to elevate the city into one of the world’s great cultural capitals.
Carnegie Hall presents a wide range of performances each season on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall—including concert series curated by acclaimed artists and composers; citywide festivals featuring collaborations with leading NYC cultural institutions; orchestral performances, chamber music, new music concerts, and recitals; and the best in jazz, global, and popular music. Many concerts each season are heard by listeners worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live radio and digital broadcast series, produced in partnership with WQXR, and select concerts have been webcast on medici.tv.
Complementing these performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates wide-reaching music education and social impact programs that annually serve nearly 800,000 people in the New York City area, nationally, and internationally, and even more through a growing number of initiatives online. These programs play a central role in delivering on Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible.
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