Smart Money: C&G Partners Designs New Wall Street Museum (Part 3)

We’ve teased you with a mystery hat, revealed the design challenge taken on by C&G Partners, and described the exhibits of the Museum of American Finance (MAF), which opened today on Wall Street. Now for a look at the museum’s new brand identity…

In choosing a signature color, “We said, ‘let’s not make it money green,” lead designer Jonathan Alger told us. And so the C&G team ditched American currency’s grimey piney hues for a bright, avocado green, which pops when used with matte gray and white. By replacing the “s” in “museum” (sans serif, all caps) with a “$,” they allowed the word to stand on its own (like so) and be combined with other words while retaining its association with the museum.

We couldn’t resist asking Alger what, after spending about a year immersed in the history of American finance, he found most interesting about the subject. He immediately mentioned the sign language of futures trading–that highly codified set of hand signals used to quickly, silently, and confidentially conduct business on the commodities trading floor. “I think the hand signals would be worth Steve Heller doing a chapter in one of his books,” Alger said. “It’s found typography.” Here, for example, are some of the signs used by traders to indicate the expiration month of futures contracts:

Now that we’ve told you all about the MAF, we still want you to actually visit it yourself, so we’ll leave you with this tempting image of a very special sofa that sits outside of the museum’s well-stocked gift shop. From across the room, we thought this object might be the work of Marc Newson. It was in fact made by another ace welder, artist Johnny Swing, out of 7,000 nickels:

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