The company

The Strauhof is an exhibition space for literature in Zurich. The city’s 2013 announcement that the facility was to close caused widespread controversy, with the upshot that responsibility for running the Strauhof was transferred to “Literaturmuseum Zurich”, a non-profit organisation, at the end of 2014. The operators will continue to focus on the spatial representation and contextualisation of literature. The three-year pilot phase under the new setup began at the end of September 2015 with the launch of the first exhibition, “Mars – Literature in Space”.

The challenge

The team at the revamped Strauhof headed by the co-directors Gesa Schneider and Rémi Jaccard want to carry on the spirit of their predecessors’ work while simultaneously reaching out to new audiences. They wish to focus on trimmed-down structures and carefully-chosen joint ventures, so they tasked us with creating a new and dynamic brand personality for the exhibition space. As the individual exhibitions all have their own distinctive characters, the Strauhof visual identity has to function as a neutral stage for external designers and scenographers – while simultaneously remaining clearly recognisable.

The solution

The underlying concept focuses squarely on the function of an exhibition space – it is all about opening up ideas and spaces, uncovering and discovering. The Strauhof is a place that invites being explored. The design mark of the logo, the initial letter “S”, is depicted against an abstract graphical representation of the folded-over corner of a page – as if marking a place in a book – and so has been cut off slightly at the bottom. The design mark thus becomes easily identifiable as a signet. A space is created upon which external designers can “strut and fret their hour upon the stage” under the Strauhof’s banner. The exhibition on display at any given time provides the base colour palette and key visual for the visual identity, which is then deployed across all communications channels, such as the website, newsletter, invitations, tickets, etc. The principally informative and orientation-based meta-level complements this communications-based level.