ENB says it with Aktiv Grotesk

Created by design agency The Beautiful Meme, The English National Ballet’s new rebrand features a logo that is “both opening quotation marks and ballet shoes en pointe”, a logotype created using Dalton Maag’s Aktiv Grotesk typeface, plus an ad campaign shot by Guy Farrow featuring clothes by Vivienne Westwood…

Created by design agency The Beautiful Meme, The English National Ballet‘s new rebrand features a logo that is “both opening quotation marks and ballet shoes en pointe”, a logotype created using Dalton Maag‘s Aktiv Grotesk typeface, plus an ad campaign shot by Guy Farrow featuring clothes by Vivienne Westwood

“‘We have something to say’ was the starting point for the brand identity,” explains The Beautiful Meme’s Ben Haworth of the rebrand. “We created a logo that is both opening quotation marks and ballet shoes en pointe, with a dash of Bauhaus aesthetic (a big influence on Tamara Rojo, the ENB’s artistic director) thrown in. It means that all that follows the logo – be it imagery, words or dance – is part of the artistic statement the Company is making.”

The above image shows the tweaks performed by Dalton Maag to the new logotype, the most notable of which is the replacing of the standard Aktiv Grotesk “g” with a specially created two-storey version.

In terms of the choice of Aktiv Grotesk as the new brand typeface (the agency wrote and set the above ENB brand manifesto in the Dalton Maag font), Haworth says that it seemed to be the perfect vehicle to profess the English National Ballet’s new position: “It’s clean and contemporary feel has a degree of neutrality, which is key for future collaborative projects across a wide range of the arts to enhance the vision of the ENB being the UK’s most creative company.”

As well as the new logo and corporate typeface, The Beautiful Meme has also art directed a new ad campaign for the dance company. “The identity is built upon the idea of working with different creatives, fashion houses, artists and photographers each season,” Haworth explains. These ads (above and below) from the launch campaign of the rebranded ENB features dancers wearing Vivienne Westwood clothes shot by Guy Farrow. “Our art direction was as much about bringing [Farrow’s] rich, sensual style to the adverts as it was about celebrating the dancers,” says Haworth.

Above: the new look ENB website

To coincide with today’s launch of the new ENB campaign and brand refresh, Dalton Maag are launching eight new styles of Aktiv Grotesk, Hairline, Thin, Exta Bold and Black – each with a matching italic. Find the typeface here.

 

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