‘Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design’ is the newest exhibition at the Museu del Disseny, conceived in collaboration with the Vitra Design Museum, Victor J. Papanek Foundation and University of Applied Arts Vienna. We developed the graphic campaign, exhibition design and motion design, aiming to adapt Papanek’s imagery and world through a contemporary approach.
‘Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design’ is the first big retrospective on the designer, author and activist Victor J. Papanek (1923-1998). Papanek is also the author of the book ‘Design for the Real World’ (1971), still, the most widely read book on design. The display is organised by topics based on the work of Papanek and his contemporaries, including data and media policy, digital social structures, biotechnology, design methodology, sustainability and social inclusion, all with an underlying reflection: the importance of design as a political tool.
“Victor Papanek, was the modern father of responsible design, both for the planet and for human society, ideas that were reflected in his book ‘Design for the Real World’, one of the world’s famous book designs. Our challenge was to design a unique exhibition alongside the Museu del Disseny that not only represented his extensive knowledge and distinctive designs, but that would also represent his socio-political standpoint.”
Rafa Martínez, COO & Head of Brand Strategy at Folch and Executive producer at White Horse
After initially pursuing a career as an industrial designer, Papanek developed a critique of consumerism, spreading a message reflected in his designs that would soon make him well known around the world. We created a graphic adaptation based on Papanek’s vision and the campaign which was used for the Vitra Design Museum, interpreting and portraying the illustrations and design originally made by Daniel Streat. However, we segregated the elements, using each object to create a separate image, and playing with the scale, shapes and repetition, as well as the integration of the photography.
The stripped graphic campaign needed an interesting pairing in terms of color. Following Papanek’s ideals about responsible design and sustainability, we wanted to portray a sense of awareness through the color palette, without using the obvious colours of transmitting an ecological message. With a greyscale as a base, we were looking to coherently unify the background pictures with the orange illustrations, while generating tension with the sans serif typeface, Untitled Sans by Klim, on the top.
Following the idea of using each illustration for individual assets and giving importance to the objects, their shapes and details, we showcased the whole graphic universe through only one place: the exhibition itself. The entire campaign, both online and offline, was locally distributed. Throughout the project, we worked to create a strong and consistent universe across all different assets – from the flags around the city and opis to the motion graphics, printed programme, bookmarks and press kit.
“The new identity that we created takes the graphic elements from the original exhibition and gives them an new structure, making a unified language through the whole graphic universe but also creating and showcasing new meanings in each asset”
Pablo Fernández, Junior Designer at Folch
Apart from the design, the campaign had to be spread in a way that would not only reach but be understood by many different sectors. As a part of our mission we’ve been curating content and managing digital communication for the Museu del Disseny, defining their strategic positioning and this exhibition was no exception. For this, we covered the exhibition, promoting the services through different activities of the institution such as conferences, workshops, takeovers, panel discussion, etc. – always through both printed and digital supports. Read more
The campaign has been well received in media outlets, both online and offline. For example the prestigious national newspapers such as El Periódico, El País, La Vanguardia and Ara have all featured it.