Two Museums, One Identity
The job started with an invitation-only call for identity design in 2017. The publisher has requested that the visual communication of the artwork clearly reflect that both institutions are maintained by the same owner. The themes of the two exhibition spaces cover a completely different period of art history at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and the New National Gallery, Budapest, so we started out with different motifs for the logos of the two institutions. For the logo of the Museum of Fine Arts, which is characterised by its own history, we paid tribute to the structure of the earlier logo, whilst in case of the New National Gallery the logo was based on the structural features of the new building. During the design of the logos, we were working with the same graphic material to create a visual connection between the museum and the gallery. During the development of colours and typography, the chief principle was clear functionality, but the office tools on which the two institutions were in a coordinate relationship were a particular challenge.
The exciting building of the New National Gallery is clearly symbolic on its own, which gave us enough inspiration to design a new logo, reflecting on its architectural elements.
For both logos, we originally built from the same column. The two rectangles were sliced into smaller pieces of different sizes, whilst keeping an evenly long horizontal piece to emphasize their relationship even more. The spot values of the resulting logos are similar, yet they reflect the unique character of the institutions and are visually distinct from each other.
about the icons
The line module structure also defined the formal features of the icon set, which has limited the graphical work within the framework of a strong geometric rule system. During the design, we used our own set of rules to create a single family of pictograms.
contrast and harmony
Due to the museum is under the protection of historic buildings, the information surfaces could not be fixed directly on the marble. Therefore, in the lobby, both the navigation content and the promotion of the current exhibition appears on a stretched canvas, just like a painting. Elsewhere in the building, we mainly used a dark grey base so that they fit better into the enterior.
Another important challenge was to develop a system that could easily respond to the ever-changing needs of the institution, as the museum’s refurbishment is still ongoing. Such solutions include foil-cut navigation contents mounted directly on the wall, as well as interchangeable panel elements of the information blocks surrounding the columns.
The maps float in front of the white wall with their spacers so that they are highlighted by their own shadows; whilst the information blocks are on black plexiglasses, flat-mounted onto the wall and thus separate from the graphics.