APFEL's identity for The Hepworth Wakefield
A Practice For Everyday Life has created the identity for The Hepworth Wakefield – the largest purpose built gallery to be built in the UK since 1968, which will provide a permanent public legacy for sculptor Barbara Hepworth in her home city.
At the heart of the graphic identity is a bespoke font, created especially by APFEL, along with a select palette of colours which reference the effect of weather on Hepworth's large outdoor sculptures – a blue-green colour reminscent of bronze oxidation, greys and neutral tones and a bright red.
A distinctive feature of the Hepworth typeface the studio developed is the angled ends of all the stems of the capital letter forms. The angles are, apparently, derived from the roofs of the Hepworth Wakefield and surrounding buildings. Here's a look at a sampler:
"Our approach to the design of the signage was one of integration," says APFEL's Emma Thomas. "We have applied a process directly to the surfaces of the building, interior and doors, and have avoided the object-sign," she continues. "By developing this fully integrated scheme, the Hepworth Wakefield was able to evolve as a total environment which is sculptural and minimal, and can present both the Collection display and contemporary artworks in a powerful and elegant way."
For more infio about the gallery, visit hepworthwakefield.org
All photography shown is by Killian O'Sullivan.
Lovely type. Who drew that? Not APFEL?
Pretty brutalist - Corbusier would have been proud! Unfortunately I’m not a fan - thought we’d left this ugly movement back in the 60’s…
…although I should really be commenting on the identity, which to be honest is pretty bland - not breaking any boundaries here…
Just a shame that a Yorkshire agency didn't get the gig...
a very good identity, a fine project
Whilst clean and stylish, was it necessary to create a new font? Whilst the new font is influenced by the traditional fonts Kabel, Gill Sans, Futura and Frutiger, is it unique enough to justify the expense?
Can't beat a nice bit of type!
Architecturally inspired typeface - genius!
lovely font, I like the way that the caps are used on most of the signage as it feels a bit more unique that way. The 'W' echoes some of Hepworth's work well.
In lower caps however it feels like it wouldn't be too lost in John Lewis...
Typeface very similar to that designed for the exterior of the Hayward Gallery in 1987 and still used now, slanted serifs and all.
Commented too quickly - slanted ends not serifs.
As it is a gallery I don't feel the Identiy needs to be groudbreking, its about the work inside that should grab the headlines. This is very nice type indeed!
Austere building, austere identity & austere type. I don't mind the typeface per se but so much design is playing it safe these days. Current design outputs of this kind seem afraid to try anything different since every man and his dog attacked Wolff Olins for pushing the boundaries with the 2012 logo. I'm one of the 0.5% that think it was and is a fantastic piece of work.
Personally I like a lot of the APFEL do and this is not necessarily bad, it's just, so so.
Like the look of the font, building, wayfinding and of course the sculpture inside :-)
I agree with JJ.
Was it really necessary to design a new font. Especially when the Arts funding has just had a severe kicking by the government.
I do like the architectural lines of the building but I'd personally add colour. Oh hang on, concrete's fashionable. Leave as is!
As a long-time admirer of Hepworth's sculptures, famed for her use of oval motifs, I'd have liked the design of the typeface and/ or the architecture itself to have reflected more the qualities of her work than where she was born. Her work from the influential St Ives period had a strong connection to the landscape and natural forms, a bit of a missed opportunity in my eyes.
Hepworth and her contemporaries in sculpture, architecture, product design and the graphic arts revolutionised the world in a way that is still not fully recognised by those outside the "arts" so what better way to celebrate than produce a new font that echoes all those influences.
However, I think it could do with a slightly bolder display weight for the larger signs that would have been a stronger counterpoint for the building. I feel the large signs are currently overpowered by the weight of the concrete.
Just a small gripe in an otherwise superb example of understated design that allows the sculpture to be the centre of attention.
@n.bailey - you're right, they're twins: http://www.freefoto.com/preview/31-15-2/Hayward-Gallery
Really unfortunate that galleries with quite similar names have such similar identities.
I agree with KRogers, I associate organic oval shapes with Hepworth. A font based on those would have been much more distinctive (but difficult to fit with that paving slab of a building).
They blatantly stole the capital W from Hypatia Sans  by T.Phinney
to see inside the galleries of the Hepworth, there are some videos on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sno7zzXPltY/
When in the gallery this weekend I overheard a couple in the gallery saying how beautiful the typeface was. Signage doesn't often get that much attention. A small group gathered round and someone pointed out the 'g' and simple 'a' made it legible for children. Whilst its a clearly a hybrid created from a number of other faces show me a font that doesn't owe something to an earlier form.
Benjamin Cross - or Rudolf Koch's Kabel from 1927?
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