The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA Australia) presents, collects and engages with the art of now. Located on Sydney Harbour at Tallawoladah, a home to stories, art and culture for over 65,000 years, the Museum contributes to the continuity of culture on its site with a continuously evolving Collection of artworks.

M35 was briefed to design a new visual identity that positioned MCA Australia as the reference point for contemporary art in Australia and beyond. To achieve this an extensive collaborative process was undertaken to re-imagine the visual identity from the ground up. Starting with establishing a strategic foundation for the Museum, M35 delivered a complete visual identity system that provides a holistic yet flexible design solution.

Contemporary art reflects the present moment, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it's part of a greater, continuous and indivisible narrative. What is contemporary today, is part of the past tomorrow, and this past stretches back 65,000 years on Tallawoladah, the site on which MCA Australia is located. While the Museum shines a light on the voices and ideas of our time, its role is to also preserve these through its Collection, like the layers of strata on the Tallawoladah foreshore.

The brand mark and overall design system embody the concept that "contemporary" is inherently transient. They visually represent this by drawing inspiration from geological strata, layers of rock that signify different periods in time. This approach communicates how what is considered contemporary today will eventually form a layer in the historical accumulation of past "contemporaries". In the word mark itself this is achieved by vertically stacking the acronym. Form-wise this results in the dominant visual points of both the ‘M' and ‘A' directing the eye towards the ‘C’, making ‘contemporary' the focal point of our logo, emphasising it as a key differentiator for the Museum. The strata layers also inform the wider design system guiding how typography and imagery are used. The system was designed to build recognition through consistent use of brand elements but to allow the flexibility to adapt and change to complement the multitude of formats and artworks it is utilised with.


Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Design: MCA in-house team
Website: MCA in-house team, Pollen and Boojum
Photography: Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Video: Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Location Photography: Tomas Friml
Location Video: Harry Kemp






Art Direction









Related Projects

All Projects

Tacita Dean

MCA Australia Exhibition


Breathing new life into one of the world's most renowned film schools


A brand identity system in perpetual motion