Sam Chermayeff Office
Services: Visual Identity, Animation, Web design
In its 70 years of existence, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design has become a flagship institution in the field of Slovak art and design, yet when it comes to its visual identity, it never garnered adequate coherency and care. The project strategically utilises the inconsistencies of its past identities to create a new one, designed beyond time and space.
The Academy’s new identity was a project sparked by its anniversary, which was an occasion to remember and look back at the past - to events, people, developments and personal histories. In the process, it was discovered that the last documented logo of the Academy dates back to around 1990, highlighting the contradiction between the school’s long history and the absence of inventiveness or archiving when it comes to its identity. This mysterious contradiction was a point of inspiration used as a method.
The visual identity was developed as a mirror of the current era ruled by misinformation and mystification, however, for the hoax to be believed by the observer, its basis had to be at least partly anchored in reality. That is why the coat of arms placed on the facade of one of the school’s buildings, the Pálffy deer symbol, was used. It was transferred and translated into an alternate reality in which it was adapted for different historical periods, closely linked to periods in the evolution of graphic design. With this approach, a wide range of possibilities for the use of the design was created, whether that be ceramic statuettes, jewellery, trophies, illustrations, photos or sports jerseys. This new dynamic and provocative visual identity reflects the schools boundary pushing and experimentative mindset, opening up the possibilities of the identity to be adapted for the rapidly changing times, if wanted, even on daily basis. The goal was to create an alternate reality that years from now, when future designers decide to redesign and update the deer symbol, will be fully believed.
Credits / Collaboration: Martin Kahan / Consulatnt: Palo Bálik / Year: 2022