Facebook reminded me this project from 8 years ago, and I had to bow to the younger me, who had such balls back then, still in school at the bachelor level, to confront the Slovak National Gallery with its incompetence to look like a contemporary gallery. I have to say a lot has change meanwhile and today the gallery has proper visual identity and all. But, mostly because of realising that this kind of institution just can not run without in-house graphic designers. ⠀
In 2010, Slovak National Gallery commissioned the students from Visual Communication department to design a new logo. The new logo was supposed to solve all visual needs of the gallery. Ideally in a such way, that even an administration office worker would be able to do the job of a graphic designer and create all necessary visual materials. I didn’t make any new logo. Not just because we all know logo is dead, but because I wanted to offer a better solution: whole new visual identity based on the administration workers most favourite thing: the punched-pocket sleeves.⠀
These visual displays – a wall of punched-pockets sleeves – were designed to announce new exhibitions. The grid system based on the normal size sleeves and poly-pockets sleeves allowed multiple layers of information that could be displayed. Three different sizes of the headlines, main image in the background, small images in the foreground and combination of all these. It had many advantages, including resistance to water (the gallery had problems with leaking roof at that time) and easy-to-handle maintenance without the need to hire in-house graphic designer.⠀
The grid was constructed from horizontal A4 formats, some of them with poly-pockets, what allowed to use three different sizes of letters. Fill it with random materials, and you’ll get the most glam effect ever!
This detail shows the necessity of ad hoc creativity, when it’s impossible to take all the gallery’s peculiarities into account. In 2010, the Slovak National Gallery was a bit different gallery. One could find many smaller or bigger details, that were undermining the idea of well functioning institution. Commissioning students to design new logo and expect it to solve all visual problems seemed to be very a short-sighted strategy. Apparently there wasn’t any visual system that would address the needs of the gallery and everything used to be solved ad hoc with almighty punched pockets sleeves.
And this is me, being all happy about how convenient the punched pocket sleeves are, look – enough place for big headlines, raster image, slogans and even the sponsor logos! The whole world fits in such punched pocket sleeves!