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Sotheby’s branding facelift after 12 years

Posted by: Jo Briton

Categories: Branding,

Wed, 30 Apr 2014

Auction house Sotheby’s has a new sleek brand identity. The last time Sotheby’s underwent a branding facelift was 12 years ago, after its then CEO Alfred Taubman was caught in a price-fixing conspiracy with rival auction houses Christie’s.


Agency Pentagram worked for two years on the new brand identity, during which they were tasked to revamp the company’s website, magazine and catalogue.

The new Sotheby’s logo features a typeface change from the Gill Sans serif to the Mercury serif, providing a modern and elegant visual update befitting the stature of the 300-year-old firm.


Unlike the old typeface, it is scalable and maintains its design well. Benton San was chosen for the secondary typeface, which will be used across communication channels, while Freight will be used for display and headlines.

I like the new logo it is still classic but with a contemporary twist and a little bit sleeker, which will work well with a digital format. What do you think?

The website now features dramatic, full-bleed photographs of the art pieces, presented in such a way that better shows how they will look like in a buyer’s home. Sotheby’s also hired its first-ever photo editor to curate and handle the slideshow on its homepage.


I also really like the attention to detail Pentagram has instilled in the brand. For instance they redesigned the invoices sent by Sotheby’s so they did not look like they came from an accounting office but were part of the brand expression. The identity also extends to aprons and bid paddles. For such a prestigious company you wouldn’t expect anything less.


Source: Design Taxi




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