Another centennial celebration is underway today as Grand Central Terminal revealed a new logo designed by Pentagram to commemorate it's 100th anniversary. Opened in 1913, the historic landmark is modeled on ancient Roman baths and one of New York City's most important transportation hubs serving over 750,000 people daily.
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, drawn by Joe Marianek, has its hands positioned at 7:13, or 19:13 in trainmaster's time, a nod to the opening year. 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.
In designing the new logo, the Pentagram team, led by Michael Bierut, looked for something more immediately identifiable as Grand Central. "No matter where you are in the main hall, the clock and the information booth are visible," says Bierut. "In this vast space, the clock and the information booth are designed to be of human scale, which is why people are drawn there, and why 'meet me at the clock' is something that all New Yorkers understand."
The "strikingly modern" sans serif typeface Avenir was chosen for the logo in recognition that the Terminal will continue to have a vital role in the future of the city. "Creating a new identity for Grand Central is not just about looking back and acknowledging an historic place," says Bierut. "It's also the idea that it will remain a vital center for New York City, an emblem of New York throughout the world, and a place to have an exciting life seven days a week." Avenir reproduces well at many sizes, and will be used in logo applications from signage to patches on staff uniforms.
Currently, Grand Central serves as the home to the nation's busiest commuter railroad, the Metro-North, and by 2016, the Long Island Rail Road will stop at the terminal. A rededication ceremony is planned for February 1, 2013, exactly 100 years after doors opened to Grand Central.