National Art Museum of Ukraine. Rebranding

17.06.2022

Old Doesn't Have to Mean Boring

A thousand-years of Ukranian history is kept in the mysterious, iconic building with lions

in Hrushevskoho street. Ukranian history is embodied in ancient icons, portraits, sculptures, mosaics, Gobelin tapestry, avant-garde cubistic and constructivist compositions. 


Ukrainian art is full of rich history and meaning. Behind every painting is a fascinating story worth exploring.

Not just textbook history, but real-life stories.

Our main mission here was obvious – to change the museum’s reputation from that of a dull dust-covered wise man to that of a vivid, active, open-hearted and involved teacher. You know, the cool teacher that lets you skip a class if you aren’t in the mood, sit on your desks, and most importantly – lets you express your own opinion. The teacher who focuses on interesting stories instead of tedious details and terminology.


The rebranding of the museum is not the only thing that’s changed. The renewal at NAMU began long before, involving a new professional team that directs museum development, people who know what is the best for the museum and how to turn those ideas into reality.

Creating a Design that Captures Hundreds of Years 


This wasn’t an easy task; that’s why it was so incredibly interesting. At the beginning we, along with the team of NAMU, defined the core aspects that we felt this new identity of the museum had to represent: Ukrainian values, modernity, liveliness, and of course all of the art.


We also decided that we would use and promote the acronym NAMU (National Art Museum of Ukraine) in ads and media. Because when you have a lot to tell about your history and art as well, and you are ready to tell that to the World — you have to do it in a language of the World.


"At one point we realized that we weren’t just creating an identity for the museum, we were creating a brand for all Ukrainian art."




Olha Balashova

NAMU Deputy Director of development

The new signage and graphics needed to represent both the long history of the museum and the present; to reflect the national identity and certainly to be about art. So realized that the font we used would be a key part of this new identity.


We enlisted the help of font designer Dima Rastvortzev, who shared his deep experience and knowledge with us.

After several months of work and reviews, the NAMU font collection was completed.

The NAMU font actually has 7 different typefaces, each representing a particular epoch of Ukrainian culture and art development, from the 16th century to the present.

Just as many expositions and events at NAMU have their own logo and font, the new font ‘7th Face’ was created to reflect the variety of time-periods and points of view from the NAMU collection. The project team compiled important symbols from literary works, icons, almanacs, magazines, letters and drawings.

Each letter of this font was created with history in mind. Continuous interaction with the museum team was the key to this process. We discussed progress, shared ideas and listened to each other not just to satisfy the designers’ ambitions, but to comply with the wishes of people who make the museum live and breathe. The NAMU font is available for anyone to use.

An Enduring Legacy

Having decided on a logo, we started to work out a system for branding and identity, all focused on the logo and NAMU sign, which is the main recognizable element for the branding.


The new NAMU logo became a background element for the various exhibits, paintings and sculptures at the museum. Highlighting the pieces of art, we introduced people to heroes, emphasizing their uniqueness, beauty and their interesting histories.

Going further, we introduced figures from different works of art into the branding media, often in different contexts and settings.


In fact this way we created new NAMU identity with purely Ukrainian art.

The National Art Museum of Ukraine captures and preserves legendary art, revealing life-changing events, tough periods and prosperous times.

It has long been an important institution, and it will be in the future.


The classic art is now combined with modern design, and this serves to draw increased attention to it. The goal is the same, to encourage as many as possible to view and interact with the exhibits, to make each fascinating subject come to life for visitors.

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Creative Director:

Pavlo Vrzhesch


Head of Art:

Egor Petrov


Strategy Director:

Yaroslav Serdiuk


Strategist:

Hanna Bosa


Chief Designer:

Anton Ivanov


Senior Designer:

Victor London


Designers:

Slava Bondar

Dasha Levchuk

Illia Shulzhenko


Junior Designer:

Oleksii Prylipka


Motion Designer:

Hanna Iemelianova


Exposition Designer:

Yevhen Velychev


Art Director:

Illia Pochkun


Copywriter:

Maryna Cherniavska


Account Manager:

Alina Megyd


Type Designer:

Dmytro Rastvortsev

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General Director: 

Yulia Litvinets


Deputy General Director: 

Olga Balashova


Main Custodian: 

Anna Vivchar


Deputy General Director 

of the Exhibition and 

International activities: 

Yulia Gnat


Head of Department of Public Relations:

Valentina Klimenko


Senior Researcher: 

Lydia Apollonova


We sincerely thank Maxim Sikalenko for music written specifically for the video case, White Ant Studio and artist Yulia Belyaeva for their help in the preparation of 3D materials.