In its approach to the comprehensive identity system – which encompasses a new logo, bespoke typeface, website and the renaming of the museum’s three venues – Zak Group has balanced both theoretical and spatial, complexity with visual simplicity.
At the core of the MMK identity is a superscript trademark symbol, which playfully appropriates the habit of brands laying claim to ideas and an ability to connect people. The symbol pokes fun at corporate lingo, inspired by, as founder Zak Kyes describes, “an homage to French Conceptual artist Philippe Thomas, whose fictitious agency readymades belong to everyone creatively appropriates the tools of branding and communication”. It also functions as a tool for showing the relationship between the museum and the city of Frankfurt, or rather, the people in it. It’s attached to individual words and phrases, as well as appearing on sweaters, T-shirts, lighters and caps, “claiming Frankfurt as part of the museum’s DNA", and, in turn, the museum as part of Frankfurt’s DNA.
The bespoke typeface, Museum Sans, was designed as a key element of the new identity, and in line with the whole approach, took the city as its inspiration; in this instance, Frankfurt’s history as an important city for typographic innovation, and a key influence in the acceptance of The New Typography.
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