Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design by

Year: 2019
Tags: Art Direction, Campaign, Graphic Design, Strategic Communication
3,996 views

‘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.

A dynamic decontextualisation

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and the campaign which was used for the Vitra Design Museum, interpreting and portraying the illustrations and design originally made by Daniel Streat.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.

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH

A message through the color palette

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.

Adapting the campaign across multiple platforms

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.

Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH
Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design | FOLCH

Applying the design to a broader narrative

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

Activation and PR reach

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.

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Art Direction, Campaign, Graphic Design, Strategic Communication. 2019