Harvard Art Museums

With a history of over 125 years of research and public education, Harvard Art Museums is known first as a teaching museum. But its mission is twofold — as a learning museum its understanding of art and its community is constantly evolving. To better reflect this duality, we were asked to develop the museums’ visual language through motion.

This involved extending, evolving, and revitalizing the museums’ core identity without fixing what wasn’t broken. The museums motion system was developed to highlight the unique qualities museum experience through two distinct behaviors: “looking closer” and “gathering together.”

Together, these behaviors work in harmony to underpin all movement of the brand, from logos and social media to digital calendars and event graphics.
Regrets Only
Caleb Halter and Laurel Warner

Harvard Art Museums
Zak Jensen, Adam Sherkanowski, and Angela Lorenzo

Special thanks to David Nelson for creative coding and scripting guidance.


Looking Closer

“Looking closer” not only describes the unique perspective of viewing art in a physical space but is also a metaphor for deepening your connection to and understanding of an object. Through close-looking, Harvard Art Museums brings artworks forward and into full view, inviting visitors to see them anew.
Gathering Together

Harvard Art Museums offers a living archive of mediums, eras and perspectives together under one roof. “Gathering together” celebrates the diversity of expression both in their collection and in their community.
Using the existing design as a basis for its construction, the animated logo activates the slash, turning it from a static element to a catalyst for movement. A quick color inversion references the act of looking, evoking the blink of an eye.

365-Color Palette

Developed in 2014 to highlight upcoming exhibitions and events, Harvard Art Museums’ color spectrum assigns each tone of a 365-color palette to a specific date of the calendar year. Used primarily in print format, however, the breadth of the palette went largely unnoticed as it was often limited to single day increments. Through creative coding and motion, we were able clarify the connection between color and date, looking ahead and across the spectrum with hex code-specific accuracy
9 Station Street #201
Brookline, MA 02445