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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

Work / Graphic Design

Graphic Design: Lava do an excellent job of the Istanbul Biennial identity

Holding an event in a city which has been torn apart by social unrest can never be an easy feat, but this year Istanbul’s Biennial is making a brave move, focusing in on the political conflict which ensued around Gezi Park earlier on this summer rather than turning a blind eye to it as many expected it to. In the eery quiet which follows the riots which shook Istanbul the art festival is willingly facing up to the questions so many people are still asking. The title itself translates as “Mom, am I barbarian?” and questions the role of the public domain as a political space, reflecting the chants which were sung out by protesters trying to protect Istanbul’s last green urban space from the riot police who ruthlessly moved in.

Lava have done an admirable job of communicating all of this turbulent context with a strongly articulated visual language. The identity reflects the political and social engagement of the creative industries with collections of fragmentary shapes and a personable feel in spite of the monochrome colour scheme.

The studio explains: “Resembling borders of countries and neighbourhoods, the design is created by forces of conflict and consensus of the public and public space, freely translated into typography. Together they produce a language of force, pressure and movement.”

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial

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Lava: Identity for the 13th Istanbul Biennial