Stripes, Rhythm, Direction
Nordiska museet wears its stripes with pride, and finds a new direction
Nordiska museet (The Nordic Museum), the cathedral-like landmark on Stockholm’s Djurgården, is Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history, with 1.5 million everyday objects in its collections reflecting from the 16th century to the present day. For an exhibition opening in its grand hall in October 2013, it picked a theme that was a complete departure for the museum, presenting objects in a completely new light and – hopefully – attracting a new, younger audience to the museum.
The exhibition would be called Stripes, Rhythm, Direction (Stripes, for short), and would highlight the role played by this important aesthetic motif in Swedish culture, from art, architecture, design and crafts to science and the landscape, through the display of 250 items from the museum’s collections. Our job was to work with the curator, Tom Hedqvist, to develop a unified identity for the exhibition, its promotion and signs, and a catalogue.
Undaunted by the Nordiska museet’s august, highly ornate architecture, we created an identity that was unashamedly contemporary and bold and provided a dramatic visual contrast, with bright, broad diagonal bands of colour and clear, modern, sans serif typography. From posters and ads to the enormous hoardings at the front of the museum to the exhibition set in the central hall, the effect was startling. For the catalogue, rich with imagery, abstract pattern and essays by leading writers, we designed unique covers for all 1500 printed copies.
Photography: Karolina Kristensson © Nordiska museet
The exhibition was greeted with overwhelmingly positive reviews and brought a different kind of visitor to the Nordiska museet, one not so attracted by its usual output of dry, rather academic exhibitions. We also picked up a prestigious Guldägget (Golden Egg) for the identity in the 2014 awards.