Whitney Redesign Reaction/ Response

abbigayle day
2 min readJan 31, 2021

1. My initial response to the Whitney identity system after reading the first article was that the museum was making a very calculated effort to break away from their former branding and enter themselves into a new era. I will admit at first I found the design a bit boring and simple, but after reading about the decisions and concepts that ultimately led the Whitney and Experimental Jetset to land on their final design, I was able to further understand and appreciate all that went into the museums rebranding. Specifically after learning that Experimental Jetset design the logo to be responsive to the canvas that it is placed upon. I think this particular element of the Whitney redesign is really what puts it on another level in comparison to other branded establishments.

2. To me, responsive design is a consistent reworking or change that is made to a baseline design in response to the given canvas, placement, or intentions of each individual piece that uses the responsive element in some way. I feel as though some pros of implementing responsive components into branding and design are the change in rhythm and pacing they create throughout identity systems. They keep the viewer interested in what they’re seeing, changing up a certain element to create visual interest. However, because the design is rooted in a baseline identity system, the responsive design still allows the viewer to associate every piece of material they see with whatever brand is at the center. Some cons of this technique are the need to create more individualized designs as a whole, resulting in each item or canvas that uses the responsive design being created one by one, instead of a singular element that would be repeated on a larger scale.

3. I do not believe that boring and simple are one in the same. Simple design can be a brilliant thing, if done well. While there is such a thing as too simple, I do not believe this is the case when referring to the Whitney redesign. The new direction taken by the Whitney was a total 180 from their former branding. While I understand where the argument for this design being too simple comes from, I don’t think I entirely agree. Even though the design mostly consists of white space and thin black lines, what I feel saves the brand identity as a whole is the responsive element that is implied throughout the design and branding. I think it's fun and interactive, allowing the viewer to experience something new but cohesive every time they see it.