Introducing: Culture Identities

Design for Museums, Theaters, and Cultural Institutions

It’s evident that more and more people are interested in culture, which is party thanks to the graphic materials produced by numerous cultural institutions. It’s essential for them to show creativeness and consistence, to be in a dynamic dialogue not only with the audience but also with their own productions, evolve with time and finally to be outstanding in our competitive times.

Some criticize commercialization of art and culture, for many borrowing from commerce is controversial and shouldn’t have place in arts. BOA reviewed some time ago an excellent book on branding written by Wally Olins (link) and here we come again to the point when one has to defend commercially oriented strategies of communication/cultural branding. Producing graphic materials has become a part of the creation and if it works, why shouldn’t cultural institutions play this game? ‘Introducing: Culture Identities. Design for Museums, Theaters, and Cultural Institutions’ published by Gestalten collects many institutions, graphic designers and projects, which show that the cultural identity is indispensable. Even if it's about ephemeral materials, working on them, what I know from personal experience, is always a very exciting process. The authors of the book call it mediations between institutions, artworks and audience.

I like the publication from Gestalten because it features aesthetically interesting and diverse projects. The design of the book suits well the presentation. Appreciating aesthetic experience and celebrating the cultural industry has been divided here into 3 different perspectives. The 1st part features cultural institutions providing an insight into their everyday work and approach to design, like for example a sneak peek into MoMA’s department of advertising and graphic design, documenta or Art Basel among others. The 2nd part presents a selection of designers and studios who share their experience of working with prestigious clients like: 2x4 working with LACMA or Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, James GoggIn who designs for TATE or MCA Chicago or DouBle stanDarDs collaborating with Helmut Newton Stiftung or Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. The 3rd part is a collection of individual design projects commissioned by various institutions like temporary exhibition identities, posters for art shows or film festivals, graphic concepts for multifaceted institutions and many more.

Introducing: Culture Identities. Design for Museums, Theaters, and Cultural Institutions, Gestalten

All images courtesy of the Publisher - from Introducing: Culture Identities. Design from Museums, Theaters and Cultural Institutions, Copyright Gestalten 2014