Defining who we are at NYBG has always been important, both on the outside, through the look and feel of our institution, and on the inside, in what we accomplish as a hub of plant science, education, and horticulture.
At NYBG, we like to call ourselves “purposeful plant people.”
The question is, how do we wear it on our sleeve? You know we’ve got plants (more than one million!), and you know we’ve got the experts to keep them thriving. But where does our “purpose” come in? How do we embody the connection between plants, people, and our planet—and inspire you to be a purposeful plant person, too?
After over 130 years, our identity has changed and evolved in wonderful ways. And we know that part of what makes for successful marketing campaigns are images that empower you—our visitors—to fall in love with the natural world in all its colorful, thriving beauty. Something bold and bright that you’ll be excited to see in your inbox in the morning, something you’ll want to hang on your wall—and something you’ll be proud to wear on a T-shirt or a reusable tote bag!
Enter our new brand. That’s right—you’re part of an exciting moment in NYBG history.
After a year of working with our staff and our visitors to get an idea of how the people who support this institution really see NYBG, we have developed a look that speaks to the amazing power of nature to bring people together. And something that helps people understand how our thriving depends on plants.
The result: a new brand that’s active, hopeful, and engaging. Let’s dive in.
A Living Logo and Timeless Typeface
Our refreshed logo is full of organic shapes inspired by natural elements, all of which can be found among NYBG’s collections: flowers, bees, trees, dewdrops, succulents, etc. Our new custom font—NY Botanical Gothic—draws upon notable posters from the environmental movement of the 1960s and ‘70s that can be found in our LuEsther T. Mertz Library collection. The Serif forms of the new font pay homage to the more traditional fonts found on historic buildings throughout New York City and across our Garden landscape. Lastly, the new logo evokes the spirit of place of New York City, drawing inspiration from other famous New York icons such as the New York Yankees, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Our secondary font, GT Super, fits well within the framework of a logo that’s both retrospective and future-facing. Inspired by typefaces from the 1970s and ‘80s, it focuses on “the expressive and idiosyncratic nature of calligraphic motions, compelled into stable, typographic shapes”—the perfect combination of flowery and functional. And for our plant science highlights, our logo has been curated to represent our Scientists’ microscopic view into the plant world, and the electric feeling of discovery we experience in the lab and the field. You’ll know you’re exploring new NYBG breakthroughs as soon as you see the neon logo treatment.
A Plant-Powered Palette
The colors we use in our new branding are sampled from the hues of nature itself and named after various plants and fungi: sweet chestnut, jelly ear mushroom, white oak, Siberian iris, snowdrop, anemone, etc. Even the color of the Bronx River that flows through our landscape has a place within our new color palette. Nature is vibrant in all its forms, and we’re excited to embrace the many colors that make our grounds so special during every season.
Photography with a Focus
Nature is full of intricacies and contradictions—microscopic fungi and massive oaks, newly adapted species and trees as old as Stonehenge, tropical orchids that flourish in humidity and marigolds that grow in arid desert conditions. It’s steadfast in its purpose, yet mystifying in its beauty. We want our images to reveal the breadth of nature, but to also take an up-close look into the fascinating lives of plants.
In essence, nature at its most vibrant, most intimate, and most astounding. Nature in all its facets is dramatic, and we want it to have its time in the sun.
An Emphasis on Exploration
While the Garden boasts beautiful plant life and horticultural splendor, we’re equally as proud of NYBG’s role as a leader in plant science. In the field and in our laboratories, our scientists are gathering plant DNA, identifying new species each year, and working to understand how ancient agricultural techniques can inform the future of sustainability. Our scientists investigate urban forests’ roles in tackling the climate crisis, study ways to protect plant life through global conservation efforts, and conduct research in the Bronx and beyond—in a world that, though rich with biodiversity, is in peril like never before. But we will make progress through an optimistic and deliberate approach to our work, and there are so many success stories to celebrate. Hope runs deep at NYBG, where botanical breakthroughs happen every day—and this feeling comes to life in our new brand.
Our new brand is built upon the Garden’s 133-year history—every era of NYBG, and every visitor who has graced our grounds, is a part of this exciting next phase in our brand story.
You’re part of our past, present, and our future, whether you visit NYBG for an immersive and peaceful escape, a place to spend time with family, a space to develop your career, or for thought-provoking exhibitions and programs. Through it all, the Garden is committed to helping nature thrive, so that humanity can thrive.
There’s room for everyone at NYBG—not just today, but for the generations of purposeful plant people that follow. We can’t wait for you to engage with our new brand—be it here on site in the Bronx, or wherever you call home.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive updates on new posts.