Image copied from Galería Yonke website.
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Design: An Endless Supply
Eagle plays with Wiener Werkstätte
The concept of the Belgian graphic designer and artist Boy Vereecken links two different design elements associated with the city of Vienna: the grid of the Wiener Werkstätte and the eagle from the federal capital’s…
"Graphic Design and Art Direction by Zak Group for 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art."
"As with a line, every story needs a beginning. However, with a project that is as extensive as the development of the new graphic identity of the Whitney, there are many beginnings. So the question is simply – how to begin this story?" experimentaljetset.nl/archive/whitney-museum-identity
"Two years ago, Museum staff began a thoughtful internal dialogue regarding the Whitney’s graphic identity and selected the design studio Experimental Jetset to develop an approach which embraces the spirit of the Museum while serving as a visual ambassador for our new building. The result is a distinctive and inventive graphic system that literally responds to art—a fundamental attribute of the Whitney since its founding in 1930. This dynamic identity, which the designers refer to as the “responsive ‘W’”, also illustrates the Museum’s ever-changing nature. In the upcoming years it will provide an important point of continuity for members, visitors, and the public during the transition to the new space." whitney.org/NewIdentity
NAI, Premsela and Virtual Platform have merged into The New Institute as of January 2013 (the merger FAQ).
Karel Martens designs temporary intervention for The New Institute
” […] The New Institute is delighted to announce that Karel Martens is willing to share his talents with the organization.
Martens has been commissioned to devise a temporary intervention, a non-hierarchical design connecting the name of The New Institute with the three existing names. The temporary intervention will retain the identity of the three organisations for the diverse present and new target groups, whilst also interlinking them with the future of the New Institute.
Martens’ intervention can be placed over the organisations’ current graphic identities*; it is an approach that Martens has also previously deployed in his personal work. With Martens’ design, history is not only visible but is also literally given a new layer, symbolising a new mission and ambition. The design will be presented with the name The New Institute in conjunction with the names of the three current organisations. Marten’s design will also serve as the basis for the present websites and the new online portal that is currently being developed. […]
The commission granted to Karel Martens is part of the phased implementation of the merger between the three former industry organisations. […]”
The New Institute website.
"Non-designers commonly use the term “design” as a noun to describe the result of designing—in other words, the way a thing looks. But to design means “to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, etc.” Any critical conversation about design must, therefore, include some consideration of the factors that framed that plan. There are reasons why this identity system was introduced. There is a purpose it was meant to achieve. Do we know those reasons? Do we know that purpose? We do not. To condemn a thing solely on the basis of how it looks (or on assumptions of how much it may have cost) without accounting for the context within which it was created and within which it must operate is exactly the kind of bias from which institutions like the University of California exist to liberate us."
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Arts
We’re very excited to be working on a new visual identity for the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Arts in Rotterdam at the moment. The project is ongoing, and we will have more to share over the coming months, but for now here is a little glimpse of the direction we’re working towards - an evolution of Witte de With’s existing cloudlike emblem…
"This blog aims to be a continually developing, growing and decidedly interactive Internet discourse on the medium of photography that features a multitude of participants; it is conceived as an online debate on forms of photographic production, techniques, applications, distribution strategies, contexts, theoretical foundations, ontology and perspectives on the medium. It explores photography’s role as a seminal visual medium of our time—as art, as a communication and information tool in the context of social media or photojournalism, and as a form of scientific or legal evidence.” (emphasis added)
Image of the Day: This is sure to be polarizing: a new identity for Stedeklijk Museum in Amsterdam. Design by Linda Van Deursen of Mevis & Van Deursen. Some of the applications are pretty compelling. What do you think? (via LogoDesignLove)
Later this month, Dexter Sinister will present “Identity,” an exhibition that, in the words of its description, “charts the emergence and proliferation of graphic identity since the turn of the twentieth century, with particular reference to contemporary art institutions — museums, galleries, and so called alternative spaces.”
Initiated by Artists Space, the project has been run by Dexter Sinister in cooperation with a variety of colleagues for over two years. In the fall of 2009, I was asked by Dexter Sinister and Stefan Kalmár of Artists Space to give a talk to an invited group of 20 or so guests. Part of a series of informally titled “How do we look?”, this initial lecture carried an aim that was deeply reflexive, examining the history of the organization’s own visual identity in the context of both arts-related identities and the somewhat woolier world of branding and visual culture. To facilitate the talk, I was given special access to Artists Space’s archive of printed ephemera — my thanks to Amy Owen and Jessica Wilcox at Artists Space for their help and guidance.
The tone was informal, with people asking me to expand upon one point or another, as we sipped some whiskey with conversation. Rather than adhere to a strict chronology of Artists Space’s identity development, I chose to group its marks around a loose taxonomy that included IMPRINTS, SYMBOLS, MONOGRAMS, LANDMARKS, and LOCKUPS so that perhaps a new story could emerge.
The talk was, for me, foundational to many projects and assignments that followed and informed both the structure of my SVA course and our recent identity work for SALT Istanbul at Project Projects.
The writing below is loose and rough, assembled from my notes and fuzzy memory of the evening — but, truth be told, it’s a story better told through visuals, anyway. Even if the below serves as nothing more than a prompt to visit David and Stuart’s smart and inventive show, then I’m glad to have shared it here. — RG
I thought I’d start out tonight with one of Artists Space’s most important early shows, the Pictures exhibition from 1977. And if you look at the booklet of the show here, you’ll see that at the bottom the name Artists Space has been typeset to match the look of the overall booklet. No standalone mark, nothing too systematic — in the early days things changed a lot from one exhibition to another. Reading this, the analogy seems to be that the gallery thought of itself as a kind of publisher. It’s presenting these things, but it’s not imposing its own external identity on anything. It’s initiating creative projects and then allowing its own identity to be mutable, to change with those projects.
And so with that idea in mind the first group of marks I’d like to look at is IMPRINTS. Imprimatur means “to sanction” or “to give formal and explicit approval,” and this is what I was describing before. Rather than a visual identity the emphasis is on the provenance: on where an exhibition came from and who initiated it.
Publishers have long relied on this mutability. Most famously and illustratively, Knopf has a whole broad set of Borzoi dogs that change to compliment a book’s cover design, tone, and setting. There is no single Borzoi. Instead, there are many simultaneous possibilities. It’s almost Platonic: it’s not a specific book with a specific dog but the idea of a book with a dog on it that assigns the book as a Knopf book. It’s more descriptive, really, than symbolic.
This website for White Columns, designed by Project Projects, works in much the same way. When you reload a page the style sheets refresh, and the site goes from serif to sans and back again. So it’s like the Borzoi dog, in that it opens up the possibility that White Columns can take on a variety of formal details but still remain, essentially, itself. The formal “idea” of the site doesn’t change, just its visual expression.
The more you rummage around the archives, the more you see a range of materials in which the Artists Space identity acts in this way. Here is a a flyer for some film programming from the mid-’80s, looking very theatrical indeed. And this strategy wasn’t continuous, either — between the Pictures show and the design of this flyer different, more formalized marks emerged and were then discarded.
Sometimes there was even variance within a given piece. Here’s a great example from 1988 for a show called Telling Tales. There’s literally one “super” logo, which is set in one typeface, and then there’s a smaller “logo-sized” logo in another typeface.
By the late ’80s the impact of design’s postmodern tastes were readily apparent, and the hybridity of a given graphic system set to the max. Even within the artists’ own first and last names there is variance and expressivity. This piece is from 1989.
At other points around this time, zine culture and DIY publishing became more apparent, as in the booklet design for this Robert Gero show from 1990. Here Artists Space acts as the publisher once again, with the form of its name subordinate to the larger aesthetic system of the booklet.
Here, too, in this small photocopied pamphlet from the ’90s, this vibe is apparent. What’s important to understand here is that imprints don’t need to be large or institutional in tone — they can be homemade, grassroots, inventive, and unmonolithic. Quite casual, really.
And in this casualness I’m reminded of Ed Fella’s wonderful posters for the Detroit Focus Gallery, made over a number of years with great inventiveness. Each poster treats the logo differently, and yet the set is coherent and identifiable, offering a kind of aesthetic consistency that supports the range of activities housed at the gallery. Willi Kunz’s ongoing posters for Columbia’s GSAPP program are another example of this kind of identification strategy. Rather than impose a system that can be executed by anyone, they create a highly particular set of responses that can be recognized without being formulaic.