Finnish branding agency Bond has created a modular logo and monochrome visual identity for Helsinki’s Design Museum.
The museum’s new logo is inspired by classic modernist designs such as Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60, says Bond. It’s made up of geometric letterforms that can be arranged in a variety of ways, and forms the basis of the new identity system.
The scheme is already in use on stationery and a new website and ‘virtual exhibition’ will be launched in spring. It will also be applied to signage, wayfinding and exhibition graphics, and is part of a three-year initiative to strengthen the museum’s identity and improve the overall visitor experience, says Bond designer Jesper Bange.
“As a designer, I felt the [museum’s] old design was a little out of date. I also felt the museum needed a clearly distinguishable design language – previously, all the exhibitions had their own identities and the museum’s…was lost behind these,” he says.
The modernist-inspired scheme represents “a golden age of Finnish design…but with a contemporary twist” says Bange, promoting the country’s creative heritage to foreign visitors, who make up almost half of those attending the museum each year.
Inkeeping with the minimal aesthetic, the new scheme is mostly black and white, but red will be used occasionally as an accent colour, explains Bange.“We wanted to keep it as basic [as possible]. We tested the identity with several different kinds of colours, but together with the Design Museum, decided to go with this strong set,” he says.
Laurenz Brunner’s typeface, Circular, provides the perfect accompaniment to the modular logo with its simple geometric shapes, and has been used in posters and graphics for the museum’s latest exhibition, showcasing the work of fashion designer Henrik Vibskov. “I think it is very fresh and current,” says Bange.
The centrepiece of the show is a large timeline, plotting key events and achievements in the designer’s career. “We discussed with Henrik Vibskov about his life, and he told us it had been pretty chaotic, so we wanted to represent that kind of feeling in the timeline,” says Bange.
By using simple shapes and a modular system, Bond has created a strong but flexible identity for the museum. The organisation now has a coherent, distinctive visual language and one that can be used on everything from letterheads to large-scale murals. Most elements of the rebrand are still under development, but the new scheme works well on stationery and print communications, and is another lovely piece of work from Bond.