Identity and website for the celebrated nonprofit.

  • art21 logo on black

    The new Art21 logotype

For almost two decades, Art21 has been known primarily for its Peabody Award-winning PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. But the organization is much more than one show.

It produces short-form documentary series such as New York Close Up and Extended Play. It provides educational resources and professional development programs. It even publishes a bi-monthly online magazine. With its thoughtful approach and prolific output, Art21 is perhaps the foremost chronicler of contemporary art.

  • art21 stationery bluer


We were originally approached to revitalize to more accurately convey the full scope of Art21’s output. It was through this process we discovered the organization was also starting to rethink its visual identity.

  • art21 old v new blue

    The old Art21 logo and the new one, with its optical sizes

We wanted to stay close to the spirit of the original identity designed by Open in 2001. But the new logo had to do more than just look great on TV. It needed to look great on all screens at all sizes.

  • art21 typography

    Mallory, the typeface of the identity

With more artist interviews and long-form writing going up online each day, Art21 needed a new typographic system. We replaced its former typeface, Retina, with a new one by the same designer, Tobias Frere-Jones: Mallory. It looks especially great on screens, a must for an organization like Art21.

  • art21 colors

    Color palette

We reined in the use of color. Black and white are the foundation for the new Art21 brand. Our spin on the classic combination shown in television test patterns make up the secondary and tertiary colors.

  • homepage and video player

Video is the site’s primary focus. We knew it should be clearly presented and widely discoverable. We wanted to provide a great viewing experience and let video become an inviting doorway to the rest of the site.

  • art21 website video library

    Video library

  • art21 website playlist


Options for finding videos to watch include curated staff playlists and a sortable library containing every video on the site. Or, users can browse by artist. The breadth of Art21’s coverage is such that there can be multiple short films, interview transcripts, photo galleries and news items about a single artist. Users can now access all of that content in one place.

  • art21 website artist directory

    Aritst directory

  • art21 website artist page

    Artist page

  • art21 website read

    Artist essay/interview

The new identity affects not just how the videos are presented, but how design elements operate within the videos themselves. In motion, the bracket around the logo can be animated and extended into an underline.

And of course, no rebranding effort would be complete without swag.

  • art21 tote


  • art21 stickers