A fictional identity redesign for MOCA (Museum of Chinese in America), an institution at the intersection of Asian and American, old and young, and the past and present.
MOCA is a time-traveling machine that takes you through the history of Chinese in America. It houses 60,000 artifacts, interactive exhibitions, and many educational programs. My design research began with a historical audit, combing through their online database of artifacts and pulling from these historical references.
After visiting the museum, I was struck by how modern and contemporary the space felt. Designed by renowned architect Maya Lin, the museum had recently moved to a location on the border of Chinatown, Little Italy, and Nolita from its previous location in the heart of old Chinatown. Upon exploring the various exhibitions in the new space, I was inspired by this concept of duality between old and new, Chinese and American.
The double monolinear lines in my early sketches represent the duality, but as the shapes of the letterform began to appear more modern, I wanted to set it against traditional cloud illustrations popular throughout Chinese art history to create a balance of the two opposing ideals.
In the final logo, the wordmark is refined, doing away with the double lines but continuing to blend the traditional-inspired illustrations with the more contemporary logo and type choices.
A bold, vibrant red becomes the primary colorway, speaking to the Chinese belief in fortune and joy and playing against the minimal bareness of the physical exhibition space.