By Jennifer Farley

New Logo For New York Public Library

By Jennifer Farley

There’s been quite a bit of buzz online in the last few days about the new logo for the New York Public Library.Old LogoNew York Public Library LogoOld Public library logo (left) and new. The Redesign began in 2008 with the designers using photographs and sketches of lion statues on the steps of the library building. The lions outside the building are known as “Fortitude” and “Patience”. Influences are reported to have included Japanese woodcuts, stained glass and Art Noveau. The vector style artwork has been designed to be versatile enough to use in many formats and colors, as well as reproducing well at small sizes.The new logo comes, as is often the case with a logo redesign, with a new mission for the library. They wanted to convey a more digital-friendly and modern feeling.LogoWith TextAs a Leo and owner of a company with Lion in the title I have to admit I’m particularly drawn to this. Although I’m still debating with myself about whether I like this logo. I like the simplicity and the clean lines but is it a bit too cartoony for such a important keeper of knowledge?  I’m not too keen on the placement of the text although I do  like the sans-serif font. The font is called Kievit.Some people are remarking that it looks like the MGM logo. I think they are referring to a very short lived MGM logo and not the well known classic. The blue and gold MGM logo was used in 1968 on a small number of films and the recording division of the company but was later replaced by the roaring lion we know and love.MGM_logo_1968mgm-logoHere’s an interesting video from the New York Public library outlining how the logo came about.

Check out other articles about the logo on Brand New and the New York Times web sites, both showing initial sketches and ideas for the logo.So what do you think of the new logo? Is it an improvement or just more meddling with a classic?


    well done!! was only redesign for a modern lines.. the subject / symbol its the same, no conceptual work here (already done before) :D :D

  • spader725

    As I’ve never been to any NYPL and having no emotional attach to the libraries there, I feel that the new logo works. With that said, it does seem to follow the standards of comtempary logo design. So to me, it’s nothing I felt like I haven’t seen before, but it still feels like its a logo design that I am okay with.

    But compared to the previous logo, the old one definitely needed some work, but it did convey the feeling of regal, classic, and legacy. Probably because its drawn in more detail, with hard shadows. But that could also be said about most of the logo designs of the older eras. Who knows, maybe decades down the line, people would have the same argument when minimalistic logos are no longer in style and is replaced with another trend.

  • the.peregrine

    I’m not a New Yorker either, but I love this logo. Reads well large or small. Very distinct, clean and expressive of the library’s long and proud tradition.NYPL also led the digital revolution with Carrie Bickner’s excellent style guide for their websites. I’ve referred people to it as an example, and referred to it myself, many times. If more people articulated their style rules this way, life would be easier for all of us.

  • ishbudesign

    It looks like the current logo for MGM Mirage. I would imagine that could cause some problems.

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