UMOCA Partners with Actual Source on New Visual Identity

Business card with new UMOCA wordmark and internal lockup. Designed by Actual Source for the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 2021 

For its 90th Anniversary, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) has teamed up with Utah-based design studio Actual Source to re-imagine the museum’s visual identity for 2021 and beyond. The impetus for this project was a commitment to fulfilling one of the key areas of focus in the museum’s recently drafted Strategic Plan—increasing the museum’s visibility. 

Within this area of focus was a commitment to developing cohesive and concise branding of UMOCA that reflects its reputation as a contemporary and progressive arts institution. The new identity achieves this through Actual Source’s creation of a custom wordmark that is bold and distinctive yet grounded in the institution’s history. The museum provided Actual Source access to the UMOCA Archives, where they identified ephemera representing the museum’s evolving identity since 1931. The new visual identity reflects this history by using typefaces that range from the classical to the modern to the wholly contemporary, evidenced most clearly by the use of a custom UMOCA typeface, UMOCA Walter, designed by type foundries Dinamo and Omnigroup. UMOCA Walter is a rational grotesk typeface based on the lettering of Walter Käch. 

UMOCA is also working with Actual Source to design and develop a new website for the museum with an updated appearance and increased functionality to accommodate the ever-increasing virtual nature of museum visitor interaction and engagement.