Cooper–Hewitt and Cooper Hewitt

“This above all: to thine own self be true,”

-Polonius to Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Shakespeare was onto something here, and the folks over at Cooper–Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, have embraced this little trinket of advice form the Bard.

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The museum reopened December 14th, 2014, debuting with a brand new typeface to seal their identity—aptly named Cooper Hewitt.

Constructed for the museum, the new font works beautifully on the website. Paired with a spectrum of bright colors, it evokes feelings that are at once industrial and playful, innovative and nostalgic.

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For headings, they’ve chosen a consistent all-caps style, but the typeface retains its smoothness and elegance in body text as well.

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If being a Smithsonian institution doesn’t give the site credibility off the bat, having a type designed commissioned specifically for the organization does. (Not only that, but they offer a free download for personal use.) Overall, the Cooper Hewitt site’s Cooper Hewitt typeface emphasizes the creativity and originality that the museum exalts while maintaining a sleek and eye-catching professionalism


One thought on “Cooper–Hewitt and Cooper Hewitt

  1. I agree that the Cooper-Hewitt creating their own font is a really unique, interesting way to try and solidify their reputation as design expert. I also think the choice to share their font for free with others is in line with the mission of museums: sharing knowledge with the public. That being said, I don’t like the bright color blocks behind each header on the homepage. I think the presence of so many bright colors is distracting and doesn’t add value to their content. It doesn’t provide more information; it distracts from the information already available. The hover-over colors on the navigation along the top are slightly better because they are only two colors: pink and orange. It is also not as abrasive because the color only appears when you hover over it. In short, I like the typography but I’m not a huge fan of the color choices in the design.


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