Grand Central logo

“The new logo takes as its inspiration one of the landmark building’s most well known icons—the century-old Tiffany clock atop the information booth in the center of the main concourse. The stylized version of the clock has its hands positioned at 7:13, or 19:13 in trainmaster’s time, a nod to the year Grand Central opened. The image is centered over the name “Grand Central;” the word “Terminal” has been left out of the logo in recognition of how most people actually refer to the place. Beneath the logo is the simple phrase “100 Years,” which will be dropped when the centennial ends in 2014.”

Grand Central logo

Grand Central logo

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Joe Marianek, designer.

More images and info on the Pentagram website.


March 20, 2012


You know a logo design is spot on when it makes perfect sense. I don’t think it could be improved upon. Kudos to designers Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek!

After eight mints anyone? The style of the identity clashes with the modernistic typographic approach on the brands collateral, for me it’s missing that creative ingenuity.

I kinda agree with Mr Rex, the icon and typography clash. The icon seems very amateurish with no thicks and thins in the line work. It definitely lacks the sophistication that the typography presents. Not one of my favorite logos from Pentagram.

I agree with Mr Rex and Brad, particularly on the illustration of the clock. I love the idea and the time as 19:13 is a brilliant touch, but the clock itself, though obvious what its inspired by, looks almost like clipart. IMO

The logo is simply wrong. If you choose to keep detail in a graphic approach, those details have to be correct. When a clock is not on the hour exactly, the hour hand is NOT pointed at the hour, but rather between hours. It’s also missing any character of the actual clock that is so special to millions of people. The font on the clock face is wrong, the hands aren’t the same shape, there is no indication of the 4-faced nature of the clock itself. Even the base isn’t stylised well. It’s missing sections.

The font *looks* like Gotham, but the curve in the G is all wrong, which makes me cringe.

“If you choose to keep detail in a graphic approach, those details have to be correct. When a clock is not on the hour exactly, the hour hand is NOT pointed at the hour, but rather between hours.”

Worth reiterating.

While I respect Beirut, I find this pretty disappointing. Other than finding this approach really straightforward and therefore pretty dull, the logo itself is huge and needs to be with this amount of detail. It could have been restrained beautifully, without numbers and possibly just hands. It would have been really great to see this pushed further.

It feels like a body of work that most half-decent designers could create. The marque doesn’t blow me away and as CM points out, the concept is fundamentally flawed.

I’d love to know what the budget was. I’d wager there’s designers across New York that would’ve create something far more engaging and unique for half the price. I hope it’s not a downward spiral for Pentagram. They’ve created some inspired work in their time, but at the minute their current output and this project doesn’t make me think, WOW.

it’s almost like the design team didn’t even bother with basic research OR a field trip to see the actual clock. a google image search reveals all kinds of reference material that shows just how far this airquotes logo is from the actual clock.

Kudos to Michael Bierut and Joe Marianek. It’s the perfect blend of what was and what will be. Love the logo, cool theme and looking forward to the launch in one of my favorite cities.

I agree with all of comments, wordmark and symbol clash.

But even good designers sometimes make not so good stuff.

CM doesn’t deserve hats off for thinking he figured it all out, because he is wrong. If the hands was the right size it would cover the number, the detail of the clock is all it needs to be recognize as the grand central station, the hand on the number is technically wrong but the meaning of the dates wouldnt connect as easy, the font on the clock looks right, and the font is Avenir not Gotham.

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