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Brain Pickings Original: Typography of the SFMoMA

Sub-cognitive art, or what the elevator and the women’s restroom have to do with aestheticism.

Here’s something a bit different — a Brain Pickings original, driven by my hybrid fascination with modern art and typography.

While at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently, I had a peculiar thought — like all museums, this is a space dedicated to giving art a place to live. But there’s also a meta-layer to the art experience that comes from the aesthetic and conceptual life of the space itself — the colors, the architecture, the subtle design touches.

These elements contribute to our experience of the art inside, but often operate below the surface of our cognitive awareness.

So I decided to bring one of those meta-elements to the forefront of attention — the typography used inside the museum, on anything from exhibition signage to elevator buttons to restroom signs.

Explore the full set on Flickr. Then, next time you’re in a public art space, consider the meta-aestheticism that it oozes and how it affects your experience.

Published June 22, 2009




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