MKG – Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts
Corporate Design, Graphic Design, Editorial Design, Campaign, Guidance System
More than five hundred thousand works from a period of four thousand years are contained in the extensive collection of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, including art and crafts, antiquity and modernity, sculpture and graphic art, photography, fashion, and product design.
For this celebrated cultural institution, Heine/Lenz/Zizka developed the corporate design, the website, campaigns, the guidance system, and exhibition catalogues.
MKG Hamburg is a place where disparate aesthetic worlds, cultures, ages, and sensibilities meet. Thus, in the new visual identity the logo was quite deliberately given the function and form of a “catalytic element.” We also employed an ampersand to visibly separate the “art” and “crafts” portions of the collection, using typographic implementation to bring modernity and the past into productive friction.
The use of the color gold is an allusion to the material, which is unique among all materials and has continuously stood for the special, the exceptional, and for lasting values in all ages and cultures.
The same is true for ornament: it is a constant spanning cultures and eras, present wherever form has gone beyond mere functionality. This conception is also reflected in the logo’s ampersand, which we gave an ornamental appearance.
Objekte erzählen Geschichte
Finally, the MKG has released a publication that does not only celebrate the richness of its collection, but uses unique objects to report on 4000 years of human creativity. The exhibits were carefully selected regardless of department responsibilities or material value. Depicting the needs and desires of mankind, the exhibits highlight the impact that the design of ancient living environments have for our life today. An inspiring expedition from the first advanced civilizations to the innovations of the modern world.
The exhibition and the catalogue shed light onto the in-depth investigations tracing back the the inventory’s origins. To illustrate the self-conception as a snapshot of ongoing provenience research, we opted for a magazine instead of a typical exhibition catalogue.
Body and Soul – Exhibition Catalogue
What does it mean to be human? The question is as old as humanity itself. And in all cultures and ages, art has attempted to find an answer. Our catalogue for the exhibition Body and Soul contrasts historically and culturally extremely disparate masterpieces of art, design, and everyday life, all devoted to the fundamental questions of our existence. Antiquity meets the present day – with riveting results.
With the new website, the MKG encourages its digital visitors to delve into its exhibitions and then to visit the actual museum. Heine/Lenz/Zizka achieves this active engagement with large-scale presentations of items from the collection in galleries with detail views and context-specific links as well as with slide shows, videos, and up-to-the-minute information. The basis for all this is a user-friendly content management system that enables the museum staff to quickly and easily populate the site.
The MKG is opening itself up successfully not only to its established public but also to new, younger target groups thanks to wide-ranging social media activities and recipient-specific newsletters.
Campaign, Graphic Design
In addition to its numerous special presentations, it is above all the museum’s collections that make up its richness and diversity. With major reopenings, the impressive results of the massive structural and substantive reconception of these permanent exhibitions are being celebrated over the course of a two-year period. Our multiphase campaign invites the public to the year’s events with an integrated communication concept. We translate the change underway at the museum into the dramaturgy of the theater: before the curtain rises completely on a given element of the collection, animated teasers on the website, banners on the building facade, posters, ads, info screens, and unusual invitations stir curiosity and excited anticipation of the changes afoot.
Visitor Guidance System
A building of enormous proportions with an even larger collection and a lively calendar of special exhibitions calls for a guidance system as reliable as it is flexible. It should orient the visitors without restricting the exhibition organizers in their planning and without disturbing the finely restored interior design. We developed four components that work together to accomplish this task: Elegant metal brackets with various color codings can be variably mounted on columns and walls and captioned on site. Frosted transparencies use the large glass surfaces to guide visitors in the corridors. Banners in the stairwell draw attention to collection highlights on the various floors with eye-catching reproductions. And throughout the museum are large pads with tear-off overview maps that many visitors like to take home with them.