“The brief Pavilion Nordico gave us was to counter the boldness of its name,” says Josefin Askfelt of Kiosk Studio on its recent identity for the newly opened cultural centre in Buenos Aires. Featuring a public program and residency scheme, the project awards up to ten creators with a one month slot at a historical villa in the heart of the city. Alongside this, its exhibitions, talks and workshops, that take place between Europe and Argentina, aim to bring together Nordic artists with international talent for the purpose of collaboration.
“For the identity they were keen to avoid any connotations of Nordic-Colonialism, as the whole project is about unity between nations,” explains Josefin. “This kind of political awareness in design was really nice for us to hear and work with, as we’re strong believers in the power of aesthetics.” Responding to this brief, Josefin and her partner, Emil Willumsen, set about conducting research around the geography and history of Argentina. “Since we had never been there before, we, like so many others, had to turn to the internet and books for references and inspiration.”
This lead to a realisation that the dot, as a symbol, is a prevalent feature in geographic and tracking technology. “On a world map, a city becomes a dot, on a GPS a person becomes a dot and, zooming out, the Earth resembles a dot," the studio points out. Influenced by this discovery, the duo applied it to its design, and the logo for Pavilion Nordico became a spherical emblem that embodies the notion of the movement of people and ideas.
Another objective of the brief was to stay away from “design conventions of minimalistic visuals and heavy typefaces”. In order to do this, Kiosk Studio reached out to their friends at Danish type foundry, Bold-Decisions for its Lars typeface, which the studio used a light version of to evoke a poetic feeling. “We love Lars because it’s so easy to work with as an all-round typeface and it is very beautiful.” This is accompanied by two beige tones that were equally versatile in their use across different forms of communication. “It is important when we do identities to really think about how they will work on various platforms and how to tighten the bond between the digital and printed matter,” Josefin explains. Following this approach and its desire for the logo to be in motion, the studio created 50 variations to use differently for every new piece of printed material.
After finishing the project, Josefin and Emil made their way to Buenos Aires for the opening of Pavilion Nordico in March. Upon arriving, the pair realised that the beige, red and blue they had incorporated into the colour palette was all around them. “Those exact colours were in the sky and the architecture. There was also a special yellow tint in the sunlight that created beautiful reflections in the city,” Josefin says. “We’d like to think we nailed this on purpose, but we confess that it was a happy accident.”
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