Identity Design
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Identity Design

Moholy Nagy Foundation

The Photogram

The Moholy-Nagy Foundation is a private family foundation organized in 2003 in response to the continuing interest in the life and works of László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as a professor in the Bauhaus school.
Their new visual identity, following the mindset and methods the artist used in his own work, was designed by Pentagram.

Moholy-Nagy was known for his experimental photographs with light, known as photograms, and these directly informed the design team’s craft-based approach. A set of typographic forms were created by hand in the studio using a series of projections using light and water, and these intriguing letterforms form the basis of the fluid identity.
Pentagram project page

Thoughts

From the Van Gogh museum identity to the latest one of Munch museum, making a visual identity of a well-known visual artist is a difficult task. Why? Because when you think of that artist, everyone relates him/her with his/her own work, that is, there is already strong “visual” impressions. From Van Gogh people might come up with sun flowers, and from Munch, The Scream might be the only image people knows about him. So what about Moholy Nagi?

Old logo

I suppose what a difficult thing about making an identity of Moholy Nagi was he made artworks as a painter and as a photographer. Like the previous logo (above) indicates, he was highly influenced by constructivism and, actually, most of his artworks as a painter are like that. However, what made him unique is his works as a photographer: Photogram — ghostly traces of objects placed on photographic paper during exposure. He coined the term.

The identity was crafted following the process like the artist used in his photogram works. When thinking about versatility, it might be less flexible but the neo-grotesque typeface, inspired by mid-century fonts, and the mono tone color complement and bring consistency. Overall, this craft-based approach is fresh and thought-provoking in the golden age of “modern” identities — minimal icon with geometric sans-serif.

More on Pentagram project page

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Akihiro Takeuchi

Akihiro Takeuchi

Identity designer for people makes positive impacts.