Championing underrepresented black artists
Black Arts Vault is a a multifunctional initiative and gallery dedicated to showcasing the diverse and vibrant works of Black artists from around the world. Since BAV is a multifunctional creative space, the brief was simple: a bold, expressive identity that creates an interest and could extend into all brand offerings. BAV is making art accessible to attract a demographic of artists that cannot afford agents and management while creating relatability to a new audience.
At the core of BAV is visibility, and the colours were designed to reflect this. The first point of consideration when designing the colours was choosing colours that are bright, attention-grabbing and workable with each other. Looking at the bank of images and artist’s works, we paid particular attention to colours that also elevate the skin tone of the artists and their subjects creating a deeper contrast to the overall communication. Where the artist's work would clash with the colours, we introduced black as a neutral colour. The identity is equally imagery led putting the works and faces of the creatives as a background for information.
The idea of the typography is to create depth while remaining non-obstructive to the overall design. Sprat Condensed by Ethan Nakache via Collletttivo was used for large header text to create visibility to the creative’s or event's name in a way that takes up space in the layout but isn’t overpowering the rest of the design. We wanted viewers to see these names from a mile away. Since the majority of BAV’s audiences and artists are young, Sprat’s long sharp serifs provided just the right amount of contemporary and modern editorial feel. To contrast its sharp tall serifs, is Kulture by Leonit Gashi, a display font tame enough to serve as a subheading font but also full of unique quirks enough to lend a culturally relevant touch to the identity. For body copy and fine print, we use Clash Display and Clash Grotesk from Indian Type Foundry, both sans serifs with a twist.
The identity was focused on visibility, creating a space that was bold, unapologetic and championing. The logo is set in Dave Rowland’s Capsule slightly modified to increase its stroke width and align the letters in a more impactful layout. We wanted the logo to create impact and memorability, alerting you at first glance. It was also important that the logo was visible in smaller sizes. BAV is creating a safe welcoming space for creatives so the roundness of the logo makes it feel personable, relatable and welcoming.
The brand’s expression lies in the circles, a visual language of connectivity, dynamism and movement while also serving as a container for text and imagery. The circle was designed to take a very basic form to create a memorable and expansive brand language that can be applied to all brand materials.