Barnbrook designs identity for Kiev’s Arsenale 2012

Barnbrook’s identity for a new art biennale in Kiev is based around a bespoke and fluid open source typeface called MA Vujade…

Barnbrook‘s identity for a new art biennale in Kiev is based around a bespoke and fluid open source typeface called MA VujaDe…

Arsenale 2012, The First Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Art launched yesterday and runs until 31 July at the Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev’s new National Culttural Art and Museum complex which incorporates an old arsenal building of national cultural importance, hence the name which translates as Art Arsenal.

The festival has a theme – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times, Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art – and it comprises the work of around 100 artists which is organised around four hub ideas which are titled thus: The Restless Spirit, In the Name of Order, Flesh, and The Unquiet Dream. It is around these ideas that the identity is based.

“Rather than a fixed logo, the design employs a bespoke open source typeface that reflects the international scope and diverse array of art represented at the Arsenale,” says the studio of the project.

“MA VujaDe draws in alternative letterforms, analphabetic characters, icons and symbols from DejaVu (custom versions of which are being developed for the Arsenale and also for the Mystetskyi Arsenal venue’s visual identity systems) to create a typeface that cycles through a selected glyph palette for each character in both Latin and Cyrillic causing the tone of the text to change as it’s typed,” Barnbrook continues.

“This will become an open source project whereby the public can download and edit the code and add to the glyph palette, creating a creative dialogue between the festival and its visitors.”

As well as the identity for Arsenale 2012, Barnbrook has developed “a visual language system” for the festival’s first discussion platform, entitled Art After the End of the World. “The design draws inspiration from the notion of a dialogue,” says Barnbrook, “multiple points of view overlapping and engaging with one another. The aesthetic acknowledges recent protests and uprisings that saw people utilise technology to unite and overthrow dominant systems of power.”

Barnbrook is also working on the identity for the venue itself (above). It’s currently work in progress but will also incorporate ideas of fluidity:

More info and imagery from the project can be found on Barnbrook’s Virus Fonts site: virusfonts.com

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