The new museum, on the other hand, presents a programme that integrates the present, past and future of the design arts in Barcelona. A simple line perfectly symbolises a place of interaction, engagement and connection. It creates a link between the city, the past and the future, connecting the multiple design networks in a single building: The Design Museum and the main design associations that are hosted inside the building, the BCD (Barcelona Design Council), the FAD (Foster in Arts & Design) and the Documentation Centre.
In a nutshell, we used a flexible and dynamic line as a graphic device to tie the whole scheme together. We tried to create a timeless aesthetic that would respect the identity of the existing design associations while reflecting the dynamic and changing nature of the building and the Museum. The personality is given by the system, not the logo, making it easily and instantly recognisable. Once the main concept was defined we started to develop the visual language. The flexible, pared down approach of the connecting line was conceptually appropriate but at the same time it felt like a simplistic device. It was vague and lacking in character. We focused on the choice of the typeface and colour palette. The identities of the FAD and BCD are set in Helvetica. Using Helvetica felt like a coherent but stagnating and dated choice. So we started looking for sans serif alternatives. It was important for the typeface to be flexible but not tied too closely to any particular era of graphic design.
Christian Schwartz's Graphik was the perfect solution in the sense that it’s a plain but relatively warm geometric sans. Its serious, pared-back forms reference classic sans serifs but remain thoroughly modern: friendly, playful, fun and serious. The high-contrast between the thin and bold weights brought an unassuming but distinct personality to the identity system. The perfect companion for our simplistic and highly conceptual line.