A sneak peek at the RCA’s 2016 show identity

12 February 2016

The RCA has revealed a teaser animation for its upcoming graduate shows, giving us a glimpse at this year’s identity. Led by Octavia Reeve and designed by RCA graduates Antonio Bertossi and Esa Matinvesi (MA Visual Communication 2014), the identity will be applied to the Curating Contemporary Art show in March, the Fashion show in early June and the main show in the summer.  

Using a cool mix of minty green and black the design aims to reflect the academic structure of the college by highlighting the six different schools. “The brief asked us to be bold but also to play with RCA’s core values at the same time expressing originality and verve,” say Antonio and Esa. 

Adopting a typographic approach, the pair drew inspiration from classic type families like Univers. “For our logotype font we wanted to get something very structured and modular and opted for Matt Willey’s Timmons NY,” they explain. “Our identity is very brutalist, but we also like to think there’s some summer vibes in it too, like Trellick Tower meets Miami Beach.”

Project lead Octavia says: “For the college, the biggest challenge is to provide a public platform for our graduating students that allows them to reach the right audience for their work… The second challenge of crafting the show is a coherent visitor experience. It takes place over three months and across two campuses and six buildings,” she explains. “What we love about Antonio and Esa’s design was that it provides a strong visual identity for core communications that had space for playfulness and a generative capacity perfect for a digital, social media campaign.”

The teaser was animated by Rotterdam-based RoboMG Studio and provides a glitchy and energetic flavour of the identity. While the RCA is yet to release larger applications of the design, it’s set to be a gradual release over social media as preparation for the show ramps up.


Antonio Bertossi and Esa Matinvesi: RCA 2016 show identity


Antonio Bertossi and Esa Matinvesi: RCA 2016 show identity


Antonio Bertossi and Esa Matinvesi: RCA 2016 show identity, Univers type specimen

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.

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