An Experimental Identity for an Experimental Design Master

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Marina Willer has been brilliantly busy lately.

In addition to the launch of the UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit identity and virtual ecosystem, Willer and her Pentagram team have created a visual identity and system for the Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

László Moholy-Nagy, the Hungarian artist, writer and Bauhaus professor, eventually found his way to Chicago, where he established the innovative Chicago School of Design. His daughter, Hattula Moholy-Nagy, created the Moholy-Nagy Foundation in his honor in 2003, “to foster the artist’s legacy by conducting research on his life and work, and developing new programs, affiliations and partnerships.”

Willer and her team were tasked with rebranding the foundation’s identity—no doubt a daunting task, given the experimental designer’s legendary work. So for their solution, they turned to the very spirit of that experimentation.

“Moholy-Nagy was known for his experimental photographs with light, known as photograms, and these directly informed the design team’s craft-based approach,” Pentagram writes. “A set of typographic forms were created by hand in the studio using a series of projections [with] light and water, and these intriguing letterforms form the basis of the fluid identity.”

The mark now can be found throughout all of the foundation’s touchpoints, as well as on its new website, which Willer’s team also designed. As for the rest of the identity—

“The typeface used throughout is Riposte by Good Type Foundry. The neo-grotesque typeface is inspired by Midcentury fonts, with contemporary features that bring a sense of modernity to the brand identity, while allowing for a clear archival language. A restrained color palette of black, white and sand is based on the influence of light and Moholy-Nagy’s work and mediums.”

It’s a bold, fitting tribute to the designer—and a bold, fitting step forward for the foundation.