The new Dada graphics at Tate Modern

The face of Tate Modern’s forthcoming spring blockbuster show has been created by Rose Design.

The Dada-inspired exhibition – The Moment Art Changed Forever – opens to the public this week, and features a staggering 400 pieces by pivotal 20th century artists Man Ray, Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp.

The consultancy was brought on board, without a pitch, last autumn to design the marketing materials, a 288-page catalogue, posters and exhibition graphics, having worked with Tate on previous projects for the past six years.

According to Rose Design partner Simon Elliott, the graphics were developed with the aim of creating maximum impact with the public.

‘Because this is one of the Tate’s major blockbusters this year, there’s a lot of pressure to reach the target of getting about 150 000 people through the doors. With these types of shows you need to reach as broad an audience as possible, so we had to think about these things, especially when creating the marketing and posters,’ says Elliott.

One of the challenges of the project was how to reflect the work of three related artists coherently. ‘We deliberately chose just one iconic image,’ says Elliott. ‘If you start trying to show more, you have to think about things like size and relationship,’ he adds.

The consultancy also created a special typeface for the exhibition, drawing inspiration from the Dada period. ‘It was a challenge from a brand perspective, given what we were creating was really pushing the Tate’s guidelines,’ says Elliott.

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