Skip to main content
The facade of the building of Moma Queens

MoMA moves to Queens. MoMA moves forward.

In 1999, the Museum of Modern Art made the bold decision to tear down and rebuild its 53rd St museum. In the interim, a $35 million renovation of a Swingline Staples factory would become the Museum’s temporary home: MoMA QNS. The first entrant in what would become the progressive, art-centric neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens, MoMA QNS brought dynamism to the area through exciting programming and the innovative architecture of Michael Maltzan. The identity, designed to capture the energy of the new MoMA while simultaneously referencing the iconic identity of the past, would frame all messaging for both internal and external audiences during the three year lifespan of QNS.

A sentence saying "The Museum of Modern Art, Now in Queens"
Photo of a man walking in the street with a blurry effect

An immense amount of thought went into the art direction. For example, all imagery portrayed people moving left to right, directionally the same on a map as people moving from Manhattan to Queens. This was the overarching communications objective of our campaign.

Dimitri Jeurissen, Partner
Row of the arrow icon designed for Moma Queens' signage
Two photos of people moving objects from a room to another with a blurry effect

When we developed the name, we had to convey first and foremost that the museum had moved to Queens. What better way to signify movement than to reference the language of airport naming, i.e., JFK, LAX…

Geoff Cook, Partner
The typographic logo designed for Moma Queens
A photo collage of different daily lives scenes in New York with blurry effects
Row of the arrow icon designed for Moma Queens' signage
A collage of photos with a poster designed for Moma Queens in an advertising screen on the streets, and a visual of call-to-action for the exhibitions
A collage of photos with signage and posters designed for Moma Queens
A series of icons designed for Moma Queens' branding
A collage of different posters promoting exhibitions designed for Moma Queens

We presented a communications system for the exhibitions whereby we cropped the artwork and presented the key information in the body of the image. Our argument was that the mind has the ability to “complete” an iconic artwork, so why always feel obliged to show it all? Needless to say, the curators had heart attacks and the concept was killed.

Dimitri Jeurissen, Partner
A poster for "Bonnie and Clyde" designed for Moma Queens
Collage of photos with different applications of the new logo
Collage of photos showing different application of the signage designed for Moma Queens

We worked with Michael Maltzan and his team on the seamless integration of the identity and signage into the architecture. What most people don’t know is that we labored for two months to create a custom system of pictograms that were coherent with the visual language of the brand identity.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner
A banner designed for Moma Queens' communication campaign on a large advertising panel