In May 2011, Munich’s Haus der Kunst — a non-collecting public museum for contemporary art — decided to redevelop and redesign its entire communications system and visual identity, including the logo and website.
Based on the idea of elasticity, our proposal was to focus on the qualities of flexibility, resilience, and adaptability. The visual system was initially founded on a morphing wordmark with irregular spacing inside the letters, which sought to address the strong Neoclassical features of the architecture through the identity’s malleability.
The building’s facade is not elastic at all, reflected by the (deceptively) fixed start position of the living logo, this rigidity evaporates as soon as the logo starts moving, symbolising Haus der Kunst’s flexible and adventurous programming. The new visual is thus like an elastic band.
“The relationship between form and content, between a solid, unyielding shell outside and the greatest elasticity inside, is what should characterize the work of Haus der Kunst.”
— Okwui Enwezor, director, Haus der Kunst
The proposal included three key ideas:
- It portrays Haus der Kunst as a “Curiosity Sherpa” that will guide an eclectic audience through a wide variety of cultural fields.
- A tagline, “Stretch your view,” which will serve as an invitation to discover, as well as an expression of the philosophy and curatorial process championed by Haus der Kunst.
- The concept of a “container” aims at grouping all sorts of artifacts and cultural manifestations together and triggering interactions.
The new identity includes a completely redesigned website and a new navigational system, and aims to bring both the container and elasticity ideas into constructive tension. The concept of the container will be directly applied to the website. This will be a cornerstone of Haus der Kunst’s relationship with its global audience.
The website condenses all of Haus der Kunst’s activities into a responsive tool to strengthen its visibility and to address its committed, passionate, and curious audience. The new site is a portal and entry into a virtual Haus der Kunst. This means that you will not only find an answer to the question: what is happening at the moment or what will be happening next month? You will be able to contribute to the evolving content and to customise your choices.
The website also aims at making visible the knowledge that Haus der Kunst has generated over the past decades, through its work on exhibitions, projects, publications, and events.
Base elsewhere on Identity Designed: Mont des Arts.
More from Base.
I can also see the new identity imitating the way the perception of the signage changes depending on the viewer’s position in relation to the building’s façade. Or at least, that’s what I immediately thought of just from the included photographs.
It would have also been nice if the new site was implemented responsive/adaptive web design techniques to further the brand statement of elasticity.
Nice article. Cheers!
Incredible! Really disappointed I missed this one for BP&O, a really great find with plenty of context and a nice aesthetic result.
Thanks for sharing! We are really proud of this work!
Should you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me.
Love it. Great idea, always like to see a actual grounded reason for interesting/experimental typography other than just for looking good. This may have been done before of course, but I’ve not seen it and it kind of gives that “why haven’t I thought of that” feeling, which is the best thing you can do for fellow designers! Nice that the concept of stretching happens with the format of the programme. Would look forward to seeing the concept developed in the future.
Also, if possible, I would love to know what typeface has been used for this?!
Typeface = Brown
One of my favorite identity designs for a cultural institution, Congrats BASE and team! Lineto is an excellent type foundry too!