A long-time digital client, we worked with one of the UK’s busiest and most popular arts centres, Midlands Arts Centre, to revamp their visual identity.
Originally opened in 1962 as an arts centre for young people, MAC’s programme and remit has expanded a lot since then so – although introducing young people to the arts remains a core area of work – they approached us to help enable them to better represent the more grown-up aspects of their programme.
The new look is designed to work at different volumes: quiet and understated for the visual arts crowd; loud and colourful for family audiences.
The logo has been retained, albeit with the addition of ‘Midlands Arts Centre’ underneath. (Research showed that, although many people refer to the arts centre as 'MAC', there is a large section of the local community who don’t know the venue by its initials.)
In fact, it was from deconstructing the logo that we got the playful shapes that can be used as graphic elements, to lift and enliven the identity. This use of hard-edged simple shapes also harks back to the Swiss style of graphic design which was emerging as MAC first opened its doors.
Cleaner, clearer typography is another key part of the new look. We selected Google font, Roboto, as the primary typeface as it’s both attractive and practical (it’s open source, web-friendly, and easy to access for MAC’s pool of designers – and there’re lots of weights, giving it versatility).
This clean and clear typographic foundation can, however, be added to – judicious use of contrasting display fonts adding a point of difference for particular seasons/strands of work.
Colourwise, the new palette gives MAC scope to be playful and experimental with colour, but is compact enough to be distinctive – rather than a full-on rainbow.
The new look rolled-out as new materials were required, starting with Supercool-designed Highlights and Family brochures.
"Any arts centre is a difficult beast; the need to be all things to all people is an endless marketing conundrum. Working with Supercool we’ve been able to shape print that tells stories about our activities, rather than just being a catalogue … clever design clearly defines the diversity within our brand. The visual identity is contemporary and aesthetically beautiful, complementing the art and artists we’re promoting. [Supercool’s] ability to listen to – and then interpret – our needs makes this a stress-free and highly-valued working relationship."
Lindsey Cook – Head of Sales & Marketing
- Brand consultancy
- Brand development