Vrints-Kolsteren, Visual identity for Antwerp Art

Published: 22 Oct 2018
Category: Interview
Vrints-Kolsteren, Visual identity for Antwerp Art
Vrints-Kolsteren is an Antwerp based design studio founded by Vincent Vrints (V) and Naomi Kolsteren (N). They work locally and internationally and offer creative direction, photography and graphic design. We have asked about their work for Antwerp Art.
NE:
Can you tell us about Antwerp Art?
V & N:

Antwerp Art is an organisation that connects the most relevant actors in the Antwerp contemporary art scene: from established galleries and museums to upcoming initiatives. Every year they organise Antwerp Art Weekend. Antwerp Art Weekend combines exciting programs, talks, performances, book presentations and parties in one weekend. Actually, Antwerp is totally taken over by the art scene for one weekend.

Antwerp Art
NE:
When and how did you start a working relationship with Antwerp Art?
V & N:
This is the third year that we are working for Antwerp Art. We started out doing the first Antwerp Art Weekend and gradually were asked to do all their visual communication as well as a new visual identity. The first year we were only asked to make a new design for Antwerp Art Weekend, but because we wanted them to have some consistency in al their communication, we started to build a system that could work for them for longer that just one event. And that ended up becoming their new identity.
NE:
What is the concept and brand strategy behind the visual identity?
V & N:

We wanted to create a very neutral identity (we felt this was important to create a neutral platform for all the art organisations) by using neutral typefaces like Helvetica and Times. This gives us room to go for bold and vibrant color combinations, so the designs will really stand out in the streets. The idea behind the colours is that they are different every year.

Antwerp Art
Antwerp Art
“We really wanted to create a dynamic system and not just a static logo, like most institutes.”
NE:
Can you explain about graphic system for the visual identity?
V & N:

Every year the members of Antwerp Art are collected on a map called the Antwerp Art index. We wanted to keep this idea of a map as a base, so that is where the idea of the architectural lines came from. The identity is based on these dynamic lines that make the words AA(Antwerp Art) and AAW (Antwerp Art Weekend). They are used in many different variations throughout the different items. This makes the identity very dynamic, but at the same time still very recognisable. We really wanted to create a dynamic system and not just a static logo, like most institutes. Because than it would become another institute and we wanted its to be more like a platform.

A friend of us, Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx, is co-organising Antwerp Art. We studied together and know each other well. He trusts our judgment and that is why working together is so pleasant. It is also an interesting project, because we have been working on it for a few years (and hopefully more to come), this gives us the opportunity to reinvent the design time in time, but also make sure that it stays in the same line every year.

The poster is a very important part of the visual communication, because it’s spread all over Belgium for the two weeks before the event. We want to make them stand out in the public space as much as possible. That is why we go for as little content as possible to send out a very clear message. Only the words: ‘Antwerp Art Weekend’ and the date of the weekend are on the poster. and we have succeeded in getting the poster to A0 size which is not a simple challenge in Antwerp.

Antwerp Art
Antwerp Art
NE:
How did you build the Antwerp Art’s website? Did you collaborate with developer or studio?
V & N:
For the Antwerp Art website we worked together with Matthias Deckx and Benny (the organizer of Antwerp Art that we mentioned before). Matthias is a front end developer/designer that we very often work with. He has a keen sense for design and that is why we are a good team. It was always a very close collaboration with Matthias and Benny, that is why the website can be a continuous work in progress. The challenge was to translate the very minimalistic design to an online website that still worked well and was very user friendly.
All images © Vrints-Kolsteren