Museum of Jewish Montreal

Museum of Jewish Montreal - student project

First off, I should say that I'm cheating a little—this is a redesign/refresh that I completed earlier this year, before taking the class. As such, I'll be doing another project soon, but I wanted to look at this critically first, using some of the insights this class has given to see where I could have produced a stronger result.


Here's the previous mark:

As you can see, the museum was previously known as the Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal, a reference to its online-only roots. In 2013, The museum added walking tours to their offerings, a decision that proved immensely popular. To reflect this, and other initiatives that brought the museum's work offline and into the physical world, the team decided to drop the word "Interactive" from their title, and refresh the brand at the same time.


The brief was to create a new identity system that worked in the context of the museum's online archives, without feeling out of place in the new, real world environments it would be used in.

The values of co-authorship and storytelling are central to the museum, as is the urban fabric of the city within which it operates. The pre-existing palette was (preferably) to be retained.


I started out with two main concepts, the idea of DNA and the form of the iconic spiral starcaises found in many buildings in the old Jewish parts of the city, and also the idea of a street grid that spoke not only to the way the city was built, but to the walking tours.

Eventualy I went with the grid idea, as I felt it would provide not only a strong mark, but the basis of a flexible system that could be used in a few different ways.

The typeface used is Adelle—we felt like a slab serif would be a good choice to represent the heritage and somewhat "sacred" nature of the museum, while choosing one with a bit of delicacy like Adelle would also "humanise" the brand a little, and reflect the youth of the organisation.

The mark, and some collateral examples:


On reflection, I think I could have leaned more on the interpretation of the street grid, and the luminous blocks that represent either an itinerary of a walking tour, or the presence of heritage sites mixed in with other buildings in the city. Simultaneously, I could have leaned less on the mark itself. This would have given even more flexibility to the system as a whole.

Ultimately, what do you do when a museum is actually not a museum at all, but spread across an entire city (or at least, its exhibits are)? Maybe I could have riffed on some of the more iconic heritage sites, and added those to the system?