Identity Design
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Identity Design

MUNCH

The leaning man

MUNCH is an art museum in Oslo, Norway dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Four years before Edvard Munch died on 23 January 1944, he made a will leaving his entire estate — more than 28,000 artworks, as well as texts, letters, photographs, equipment and other personal possessions — to the City of Oslo.

Designed by North (London, United Kingdom)

The creative solution aims to be a contemporary interpretation of Munch’s ethos and to positively signal the exciting new vision for the organisation. This is expressed in a clearer and more distinct visual profile to help reflect the bold ambitions for the museum and increase relevance for a younger audience.
MUNCH press release

Before and After

The visual identity is anchored by a custom font influenced by Munch’s character and informed by the architecture. Respectfully bowing towards the city of Oslo, estudio Herreros’ design was in part inspired by a photograph of Munch at Warnemünde, Germany. Almost naked, he is painting another almost-naked man on the beach and leaning forward inquisitively, just like the building. This angle was translated into a custom font designed by Radim Peško which is ‘backslanted’ at 20º to mirror this architectural gesture. The severe angle and uncommon blackslant type style combine to create a typographic expression and ‘voice’ intended to evoke Munch’s unconventional spirit.
MUNCH press release

An energetic colour palette has been developed to work in harmony with Munch’s art. Graphic expression is introduced across communications and merchandising through bold use of the 20º angle and an abstracted silhouette of the building. All aspects of the identity are developed as animated assets to make best use of the 20+ digital screens which run throughout the building.
MUNCH press release

Personally, I don’t know much about Munch (maybe like everyone, I only know “The Scream”) so it is little difficult to give an opinion. Perhaps, just the logo itself — the reverse italic “MUNCH”— doesn’t seem to capture enough the identity of an artist Munch. Because even though once he was leaning forward to draw, it is hard to know for most of people that he did it. However, once I think that it’s not the logo of the artist, but it’s the one of the museum, the identity seems good. Because in the first place, the building design is inspired from that leaning Munch. Additionally, in the use of mixing the reverse italic and normal one, it also gives a sense of Munch’s paintings. And on the museum’s website, it works really well.

More from MUNCH press release

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Akihiro Takeuchi

Akihiro Takeuchi

Identity designer for people makes positive impacts.