HOW TO
CREATE A FRENZY

Client: Kunsthall Grenland
Type of work: Brand development

Type of client: Arts & Culture
Year produced: 2013

Kunsthall Grenland is an art hall situated in Porsgrunn, Norway. Having status as a regional arena the art hall wants to engage a large audience through the production and exhibition of contemporary art. One aim of Kunsthall Grenland is to facilitate meetings between international participants within the art field and artistic groups in the region.

When I make a logo or visual identity for a company, I try to find something real to base it on - and sometimes I get lucky and find something that is also unique. As part of this project I conducted a series of short interviews with a lot of different people who live and work here, and the most important question I asked them was "what is the most unique thing about this area?", and I was quite happy when I noticed that their answers were not very unique. Because most of them talked about the industrial heritage in one way or the other.

people-kunsthall

I made a strikingly simple visual identity based on this industrial heritage, to signal that Grenland is built on more than rose painting and agriculture; long maritime and industrial traditions have formed the basis of life for many generations. Through its activities, the art gallery will reflect artistic, technological and social changes in society. Therefore, the design profile is built up with a color, symbols and an expression that transforms and puts the industrial aesthetic into a whole new context.

This did not happen without controversy. In March 2013, the Presidency of Porsgrunn municipality decided that the logo "under no circumstances" should be used in anything that had to do with municipal activities, as they thought it signaled that the region was still struggling with polluting heavy industry. This was the opposite of the thoughts both I and Kunsthallen had discussed in the process of developing the profile. The decision led to national attention, heated debates, and locally a massive popular outcry eventually led to politicians being forced to reverse their censorship decision.

This project won The Award for Design Excellence (DOGA-merket) in 2014.

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