Designing an identity for a 20th century art furniture gallery

A few weeks ago in a post on the upcoming Design Days Dubai (DDD) fair we’d mentioned that we were in the process of finalizing an interesting project for an exhibiting gallery at the fair. We’re happy to announce our successful partnership with La Galerie Nationale – a new entrant onto Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue.

About the gallery: With over 20yrs of experience La Galerie Nationale specializes in original design art pieces created in the 20th century by celebrated designers such as Mathieu Mategot, Jean Royere, Raymond Loewy, Willy Rizzo, Joe Colombo & more.

What makes the gallery particularly unique & guaranteed to be a favourite address among the region’s art collectors is that La Galerie Nationale’s (LGN) exclusive collection is homage to the concept of original, vintage furniture as art – where each piece embodies the vision of the designer & the spirit of life during this period.

In choosing to setup a representative gallery of La Galerie Nationale in the Middle East, our client was also keen to use this opportunity to create a more refreshed & stronger visual identity – cleaner than the previous logo.

We began with a series of briefing workshops in our studio with the gallery founder to familiarize the team with 20th century art, the story of the gallery & the founder’s aspirations for LGN in the region.

Below is a short interview with our Creative Director Dejana on how the team used the insight for this project:

Dejana, what appealed the most to you in the gallery’s story?

  • “Listening to the gallery founder Guillaume tell the stories of some of the unique pieces in his collection, dotted with anecdotes on finding a specific piece or an interaction with a designer from that period…his passion & obvious love for design objects from the period coupled with his expertise.”

What was the direction for the visual identity?

  • “For the logo, we wanted it to be a complete departure from the old one, opting instead for a monochrome approach. Going by the images shared by LGN, some of the pieces are very colourful or have unusual shapes so the final logo is simple & elegant providing a subtle backdrop for the vibrant portfolio. We opted for customizing New Courier typeface, the use of which was inspired by the 20th century when typewriters were used; we thought was a nice touch. The diagonal line in the logo is a graphical devise which is both part of the identity and also a smart play on architecture as LGN also represents the architects of that era.”

What is the commonly preferred marketing collateral for the Middle East brands?

  • “In the ME the same requirements for basic stationary required in the West are applicable here. So in the limited amount of time we had to “launch” the LGN brand in line with the gallery opening & the upcoming DDD in agreement with the client we worked on design artworks for business cards, letterheads & envelopes as well as COA (certificates) – although we’re not working on the LGN website we did prepare a visual blueprint on how the finalized identity system can be applied to the website & also invites for future gallery events.”

Inspiration for the gallery’s event invites?

  • “Well, we looked at a lot of references in the form of email invites that Grace or myself frequently get from both local & international galleries – minimalism is definitely a key theme, both in terms of imagery style & the level of descriptive text. The purpose of the first invite we designed was to announce LGN’s participation in DDD. We created a template, applicable to future invites, which employs the graphical device which is already quite strong & impactful and then just included key info on dates & location.”

Thanks Dejana!