APFEL creates House of Voltaire art pop-up graphics

Contemporary art space, Studio Voltaire, has commissioned APFEL, Jamie Reid, 6a architects, and architect Simon Jones to design the graphic identity, interior and installation spaces for its pop-up shop, House of Voltaire, set to open in London’s Mayfair next month.

All three consultancies have worked extensively with the gallery in the past, and worked on the first House of Voltaire in 2010. APFEL has designed Studio Voltaire’s identity and website, and is collaborating with graphic designer Jamie Reid on this year’s pop-up shop.

APFEL's graphic identity for this year's House of Voltaire
APFEL’s graphic identity for this year’s House of Voltaire, designed in collaboration with Jamie Reid

Emma Thomas, APFEL co-founder, says, ‘The typography and patterns first used in House of Voltaire 2010 were influenced by our research into old shop signage, and we worked closely to evolve this with the design of the interior and shop fittings by 6a Architects and Simon Jones.

‘Our approach utilised modest materials suitable for temporary structures, contrasting this with a classic approach to the design inspired by rituals of visiting old Mayfair shops, and cabinets of curiosity like the John Soanes Museum.’ 

House of Voltaire 2010 interiors
House of Voltaire 2010 interiors

The branding will be shown across touch-points, including traditional signage painted by a London signwriter to adverts, bags, tissue paper and staff uniforms.

A spokesperson for Studio Voltaire says,  ‘Studio Voltaire’s artistic output is very idiosyncratic and shifts from one thing to another.  We felt it was important to have a brand which was quite classic and pared down.’  

House of Voltaire 2010 interiors
House of Voltaire 2010 interiors

Simon Jones, who is designing and building the furniture and installation for the shop, says it will have ‘an atmosphere of playfulness, intrigue and surprise’ with an aesthetic of ‘layering and concealment, with a degree of theatre and performance’.

He adds, ‘the space takes on a different energy and a different meaning with that sort of concentration; there’s an enjoyment in the overcrowding. It creates an atmosphere half way between a curated gallery space and a shop where you are invited to pick things up and take them off the shelves.’

House of Voltaire 2010 branding application
House of Voltaire 2010 branding application

House of Voltaire opens on 21 November, at 17a Adam’s Row, W1.

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