Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Maureen Mooren: “The Walker Art Center’s Graphic Design: Now in Production”

On exhibit at the Walker Art Center in Minneopolis is the Marres Identity System designed by Maureen Mooren. Marres is the name of the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Also included in the Walker installation are Mooren’s 2008 poster designs for “Marres in Between: This is Not a Damien Hirst.”

It’s interesting how the dexterity of graphic identity systems has changed over the last 60 years to become more agile and flexible, particularly in the digital age. For many years graphic identity in the form of standard and consistent logo use followed the adage, “repetition makes reputation.” Obviously, the Marres identity is for a cultural organization; cultural institutions at times can be less stiff compared to “big brand” graphic identities.

In the Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition, catalog co-curator Ellen Lupton writes: “Graphic designer Maureen Mooren designed an identity for Marres, … that consists of multiple renditions of the center’s name. Presented in black and white most of the logo variants employ drawn or constructed letterforms rather than existing typefaces. Mooren aimed to express the open curatorial program of Marres, countering the fixed institutional voice.” [1]

This is Not a Damien Hirst” promotional posters indicate the Marres identity in promotional pieces. The Marres’ posters advertise the event, which focused on the work “For the Love of God” by Damien Hirst that was presented simultaneously at both the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Maastrict. The event highlighted the devotional objects and art from the collection of the St-Servaes Church in Maastricht.
  1. Blauvelt, Andrew, and Ellen Lupton, eds. Graphic Design: Now in Production. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2011. 201. Print.

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