Tel Aviv-based studio Re-Levant Design has created an identity to celebrate this year’s graduating class from Israel’s leading school of arts and design Bezalel Academy, which tackles issues of creative identity and freedom of speech in arts education.
Re-Levant studio, which takes its name from the Levantine region, was founded in 2003 by graphic designer Amnon Illuz who was “motivated by the power of design to change our world for the better”. In the decade-and-a-half since, Re-Levant has kept busy working across graphic design, visual identity, strategy, brand development, advertising campaigns, motion graphics, digital, social and curation.
As Amnon explains, it’s not the first time that Re-Levant has worked with Bezalel Academy on their graduation show identity. “Every year Bezalel treats this project seriously, asking us to find an angle to talk about the Israeli reality,” he says. And what better way to tug reality into the realm of the surreal than through the nostalgia-tinted lens of a summer holiday. “This year inspiration for the identity is driven from an old poster we found that is calling to come and visit Israel. Every year Bezalel, in the graduation time of the year, functions as a pop-up entity that opens her gates to the visitors every year for two weeks. During this time Bezalel acts like a ‘country’ of her own, with relations with the ‘tourist’ who’s coming to visit her.”
At the heart of the identity sits a neon-tinged print ad designed to appear like a retro tourist poster, with the Bezalel building starring as the exotic holiday destination. Elsewhere, the identity is fleshed out into a distinctive range of passports, stamps, tourist t-shirts and flags. “The whole experience for the tourists starts when they check into the country by getting their passport to Bezalel at the entrance,” Amnon explains. “They will need to stamp ‘Entrance’ in each department’s exhibition before going through the ‘No Borders No Control’ stand and starting to explore this independent entity where the students are the locals and the visitors are welcome to see their way of life and creation.”
The branding encompasses Hebrew, English and Arabic. With the tagline “No Border No Control”, Amnon points out that the identity also deals with freedom of speech in the field of art.