Galerija Kranjčar by Bunch, Croatia16 February,2017
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Galerija Kranjčar is an art gallery, located at the heart of Zagreb, opened in 2006 to showcase the work of Croatian contemporary artists and function 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, brochures and soon to launch website, and in the use of colour, paper choice 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 for Monotype between 1932 and 1940, subvert the expectations of the 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 heavily into craft and legacy, a modern and considered use of space, the approach to 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 gallery neutrality of white space and black ink are emphasised by the modernity and impact 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, and is grounded in the contemporary nature of the gallery.
A sense of legacy, established by type, continues through to layout and typesetting which moves between the more retrospective centre-aligned and a modern framing of image, and in the use colour across further printed assets; the white of gallery brochure and neon of bookmark, and the more earthy and traditional colour of individual exhibition brochures and their foiling. Much like type and its implementation, papers and print finish frame through polarity, a diversity of work, and brings a bit more visual breath to identity, while the idiosyncratic qualities of type successfully 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.
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