A new visual appearance for the Academy
Studio Beton will be responsible for the new visual appearance of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna starting this fall. Benjamin Buchegger, Daniel Car and Oliver Hofmann, who work together as a team, were selected by a jury consisting of internal and external experts, as well as employees and students, in a multi-stage process. The winning design was particularly convincing with its low-threshold, flexible and participatory approach, which corresponds to the self-image and working methods of the academy.
The task was to develop an overall visual concept that reflects the diversity and content-related significance of the academy as an art, education and research institution (as well as its players) to the outside world; to support them from within and visually bring them into an interplay. With this in mind, Beton has designed a responsive identity for the academy with its various fields of study, institutes, facilities, collections and exhibition spaces. The goal is to establish a nationally and internationally memorable and sustainably effective, contemporary institutional image in order to make the academy's visual profile more attractive and accessible to diverse target groups and the general public.
The visual identity Beton proposed for the academy consists of a simple vocabulary – a set of graphic elements that refers to what has come before, reinterprets it and relates it differently to allow a visual togetherness to emerge.
»In creating the graphic vocabulary, we paid attention to sustainability, feasibility and connectivity. Existing things were adopted, but new things were also established. We chose a reduced graphic language to convey and make visible a system of affinities as clearly as possible to the outside world.«
The guidelines defined by Beton for dealing with the graphic vocabulary can be understood as advice to ensure a coherent appearance. Like a modular toolbox, however, the individual elements should be freely recombinable and different graphic »programs« rewritten.
»We took the A out of the brackets and capitalized it. It seemed natural to us and clear.«
A is the beginning of everything. It is meaning par excellence. A is the sign. It is enough for the self-confident A to be seen, it does not have to be read. The ellipsis is an orthographic sign that makes interruptions readable. It is a gap in the text into which the reader recognizes themself as reading. They have an abundance of meaning.
Apart from the continuation into the unknown they are missing – they are ignorance and knowledge at the same time. But they are also space and time or quite simply three points. In connection with A (meaning) they are the empty space, into which the interpreters insert themselves. The two signs are connected as contradiction, as yes and no, as A and nothing. They are sculpture and plastic. They are the beginning of the path, they are process.
In connection with the word Academy of Fine Arts Vienna they are our new logo.
The proposed color spectrum provides a visual framework and orientation. It is based on the previous, familiar scheme and thus serves as a bridge to the existing. The colors refer to the previously used colors of the institutes and have been slightly adapted and supplemented by grayscale and yellow. The colors can be used in relation to the institutes, but can also be used separately as a design element.
»When compiling the colors, we made sure that the palette was not too homogeneous. The individual colors should come from different relatives (neon, print, pastel, earth colors) in order to have some leeway in production as well. We want to provide an economical set-up for the academy that has its strengths in material- and cost-saving production.«
Starting with a new logo, the visual identity will include general office equipment, internal and external analog print materials for teaching and the historical and contemporary exhibition tracks, the website and digital applications, as well as an orientation system for all of the academy’s locations. Starting in March, the public relations office will work with the graphic designers and the respective representatives of the academy in an internal process to review and further develop the designs in terms of their feasibility, so that the academy's new corporate design can be used and publicly presented starting in the fall of 2021.
This microsite is intended to serve as a basis of information for all employees and students of the academy, providing insights into the ongoing progress, answering questions and depicting the current state of affairs at any given time. Upon request, the responsible representatives of the working groups can provide access to the Beton presentation folder at any time.