The Academy of Fine Arts of Rome has a new logo and identity at the VERY reasonable prize of 4000 Euros!!!


Of course I am fully aware of the fact that we live in a country where the words ‘visual identity’ have a foggy meaning for the majority of the population

So let me explain: when you buy an identity you don’t just buy a new logo, but the whole Brand Book, which is a sort of manual for the whole brand communication toghether WITH the logo, which is just a part of it. As you can imagine, with a client like the Fine Arts Academy of Rome, this is not an easy task.

But let’s have a look at this NEW LOGO

Is it innovative? Is it classic? Is it evocative? What it is trying to do??! (at the end of this article I’m gonna include a link to the Academy’s press release, in Italian of course).

“I’m really sorry but I can’t… I just can’t help but looking at it and see a couple of balls! Am I wrong?”


Now we have to say that the 4000 Euros were in reality a prize within a contest launched by the institution itself, and don’t even get me started on the matter of graphic design contests, that are just a way to pay less for a less that decent quality of work, on the other hand if we look at the previous logo of The Accademia, well, it was no better than the new one:

Vecchio New Logo Accademia delle Belle Arti di Roma

If you can’t spot anything wrong, take a look at this explanatory graphic I quickly made in illustrator: can these kind of mistakes be present in a logo for one of the most important italian institution?

Errori sul Vecchio New Logo dell'Accademia di belle Arti di roma

If these are the choices we’re stuck with, maybe the new logo isn’t so bad… at least two circles don’t leave much room for these kind of mistakes!


The idea of introducing a new visual identity for the Fine Arts Academy of Rome was right on time!

The age old intitution was in desperate need of a revamping, as is the majority of italian’s institutions, and shake off the image of what can be too easily perceived as Saint Peter’s Dome, when in reality, it’s the planimetry of the building, a typical italian architectural design called “ferro di cavallo” ( horseshoe ), to think that to avoid this effect, all they had to do was flip the mark upsidedown…


But let’s concentrate on the NEW and not the OLD

The new identity is unmeaningful and vague, it’s absolutely trivial and doesn’t do justice to what the Fine Arts Academy of Rome really represents from 500 years ago up until today.


“It was time for the age old institution to shake off the image of what can be too easily perceived as Saint Peter’s Dome”


It’s a shame to waste opportunities, and if it’s true that most agencies would have asked much more than 4000€ to redo the visual identity of one of the world’s oldes Art Academies, I would have easily settled for that 😉

And talking about art and institutions… MAXXI (Rome’s Museum of the Arts of the XXI Century) is out with a new logo too!

Spring is coming, and apparently so is the need for art institutons to renew themselves, and here is the new logo and identity for the MAXXI in Rome:

MAXXI new logo before e after

Please comment if you liked this article and want to read more about visual design stories from Italy. Also share with your friends!

Thank you!


Rome’s Fine Arts Academy Press Release: verbale della commissione per l’assegnazione del vincitore della progettazione grafica del marchio/logotipo dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma