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A new name for Fort Lauderdale art museum

The institution formerly known as the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale on Monday will begin doing business under a new name: NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.

While the change may be celebrated by time-stressed consumers for whom every syllable counts, the "rebranding" is also to better illustrate the intimate educational relationship and artistic ambitions the museum shares with Nova Southeastern University, its partner since a 2008 merger.

The new name also comes with a new modern, marketing-friendly logo that will look right at home with those of museums around the country.

The rebranding also includes a redesigned website, also scheduled to debut Monday, and a new tropical-spice color palette for its publicity and marketing materials. These include T-shirts, tote bags and other items that will soon arrive in the museum store.

"The branding is reflecting what's going on at the museum itself," says museum director Bonnie Clearwater. "We are completely reshaping and repositioning the museum. It is about being very transparent about our direction and what our goals are, making it clear that we are an integral part of NSU, and making it very clear that we are about moving forward, being dynamic."

The logo, which will only appear in black or white type, is itself an artful piece of communication. One group of words shows "NSU ART" above "MUSEUM" in bold. Below that, a second group has "FORT LAUDERDALE," in a lighter typeface.

The two groups are separated by a short horizontal black line that acts as an underscore for the first four letters in "museum." Each group lines up on the left side, except "NSU ART," which calls subtle attention to itself by being indented one character.

The logo was designed by Miami artist Leyden Rodriguez.

"It's dynamic. The museum actually looks like it's moving forward," Clearwater says. "And that's what the goal of a brand is: to very succinctly understand what the institution is."

Clearwater says its clean, contemporary Dutch Modern design has the added bonus of reflecting the museum's collection of CoBrA works and its Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed building, "also a great example of modern architecture."

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