Opinion by Richard Baird.
Galerija Kranjcar is an art gallery located at the heart of the Croatian capital of Zagreb. It was opened in 2006 to showcase the work of Croatian contemporary artists but also functions as hub for a variety of cultural activities. The gallery is a long and unique space, one that balances the modern and historic. This can be seen in the meeting of smooth white walls, concrete floor and pillars alongside exposed room-length solid wood beams. Legacy, space and a diversity of artwork is reflected within the gallery’s brand identity, developed by Bunch, in the choice of type which links stationery, business cards, print communication and soon to launch website, and in the use of colour, material and print finish.
Bunch’s work for Galerija Kranjčar is an interesting mix of modern art gallery conventions and an element of the unexpected. Plenty of white space, black text and a framing device work well to leverage the familiar, reassuring and universal for international visitors, while the choice of Albertus, a font designed by Berthold Wolpe between 1932 and 1940 for Monotype, subverts the typically neutral and current, in favour of character, craft and a sense of legacy. This feels well-suited to a gallery dedicated to and invested in long-term support of the art, craft and cultural activities of the country.
Although type leans quite heavily into craft and legacy, a modern use of space, layout and colour offers a communicative counterpoint and aesthetic balance. Together, these act as neat bookends for artwork that goes from the reductive and austere to the visually and materially detailed and expressive.
The framing device, a frequent tool of gallery brand identity programmes, is neat in its use of a blind emboss, framing space through highlight and shadow rather than ink. It is a small detail, but one that manages to draw something new from a familiar concept. This also works well to inject an element of identity into full bleed images without distracting from their content.
The period carved wood qualities of type and the contemporary gallery neutrality of white space and black ink are both emphasised by the very modern and impactful use of G.F Smith’s Colorplan Vibrant Arsenic which intersects the white of brochure. Much like the framing device, it is a small detail, but one that works in the unexpected and memorable.
A sense of legacy continues through to typesetting and layouts which moves between the more traditionally centre-aligned, and a modern framing of image, and in the use colour across further printed assets; the white of gallery brochure, and the more earthy and traditional colour of specific exhibition brochures and their foiling. Much like type and implementation, material and finish frame through polarity a diversity of work, and brings a bit more visual breath to identity, but grounded in concept, while the idiosyncratic qualities of type hold these all together. More work by Bunch on BP&O.
What do you think of Bunch’s brand identity for Galerija Kranjčar? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter.