Bonner Kunstverein

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Bonner Kunstverein
Dual-language (German/English) identity
Bonn, Germany, 2015–

Located in Bonn, the Kunstverein is one of Germany’s leading galleries. It was established in 1963 to promote contemporary art in the local community and in 1987 moved to its current premises, a converted flower market, in 1987. Bonner Kunstverein combines a large gallery for temporary exhibitions and the extraordinary Artothek – effectively a borrowing library for some 2,000 pieces of editioned and original art by hundreds of international artists, including Joseph Beuys, Nan Goldin, Gerhard Richter and Cy Twombly. The Kunstverein also provides studio accommodation for young artists at its Atelierhaus.

When Michelle Cotton took over as director of the Kunstverein in 2015, Kellenberger–White were commissioned to create from scratch a dual-language identity for the gallery. We began with brand style guidelines, before turning our attention to signage, programmes, advertising, posters, exhibition graphics and a stationery set. In spring 2016, we produced a new website, with event information, a digital shop and online access to the Artothek and the Kunstverein’s digital editions.

Our design scheme was inspired by research in the Kunstverein archives, where we were struck by the simplicity of much of the material, made using a simple typewriter on many different kinds and colours of paper – letters, postcards, printed matter, correspondence with members. We wanted to leave space for the voice of individual artists rather than restrict them in a domineering design, so we settled on a kind of prefabricated approach that captured the modern heritage of the gallery.

Project team
Director: Michelle Cotton
Art direction and Design: Kellenberger–White
Website development: Twelve
Photography: Thomas Adank