Designed by Alan Fletcher in 1989, the logo for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is simple yet devilishly clever. Set in the Bodoni typeface, it brings the three glyphs of the museum’s nickname, V&A, together as a unified symbol, achieved by Fletcher’s decision to do away with the left-hand side of the letter A and use the ampersand to reinstate the crossbar. The resulting mark is distinctive, elegant and one of the most memorable products of Fletcher’s commitment to making work that produced ‘a smile in the mind’.
Fletcher was working at Pentagram when he created the mark, but he was initially commissioned by the museum to create a wayfinding system, rather than a new identity. Quentin Newark was his design ...