Constructing the identity for a Constructivist exhibition

BKKR has created the identity for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Russian Avant-Garde Theatre exhibition, basing the visual language around the exhibition’s temporary wall structure.

The exhibition, which runs until January 2015, has been created by Russian set designer Sergei Barkhin and features artworks, costumes and set designs by the likes of Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin.

BKKR says its initial inspiration for the identity came from the “construction not composition” standpoint which underpinned the Constructivist art movement in Russia.

It also looked to artist Rodchenko, who developed drawings using a compass and ruler in order to diminish signs of personal style and self-expression.

The consultancy then looked to the exhibition’s temporary wall, which was designed by Barkhin as a “continuous, disruptive shape”.

Looking at exhibition floor plans, BKKR worked on ways of turning the shape created by the wall into a visual language. The consultancy says: “The design is constructed by its environment. We worked with the space, creating the idea that the identity is formed.”

For the display typeface, BKKR chose Labour, by Robert Holmkvist, as it “marries the idea of a geometric constructed grid with a strong industrial feel. Body copy uses GT Walsheim by GrilliType Foundry, which supports the Cyrillic alphabet.

BKKR developed the identity, graphics and label for the exhibition, and also advised on type and identity elements for the accompanying book.

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