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Michael Wuerges works as a brand and communication strategist with a passion for human behavioural patterns and the influence of technology in creating connections between people and brands, especially in the cultural sector.

After completing his degree in design strategy, Wuerges worked as an art consultant before pursuing a career as a strategist with Springer & Jacoby and Jung von Matt in Hamburg, two of Germany’s most creative agencies, where he worked with some of the world’s most loved brands such as Coca-Cola, Bonaqa or ebay.

The space where the arts, branding, creativity, design and education meet has always exerted a strong fascination on him. With his arrival in Vienna he therefore took the opportunity to work as Brand Manager and, shortly after, as Head of Strategy and Marketing at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna’s contemporary arts space, where he was occupied with aligning the institution’s strategy and its offer with the visitor behaviour and needs.

His work as Head of Strategy and Marketing involved leading through disruptive approaches such as the introduction of a completely flexible award-winning identity for the Kunsthalle Wien, designed by belgian designer Boy Vereecken, which was until then unheard of in the cultural sector.

Frequently working in collaboration with other strategists, creatives and institutions, the intention is to create fresh, forward looking, unknown experiences for customers, students and visitors.

Michael Wuerges
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Kunsthalle Wien Visual Identity

 

Identity, authenticity and differentiation are common challenges in the definition and positioning of brands. Consistency is typically considered as a key driver of recognition and brand strength.

 

The new visual Identity of the Kunsthalle Wien deliberately omitted these generally accepted rules of marketing that assume that identity is based on consistency.

The name of the institution "Kunsthalle Wien" is accompanied by the depiction of an eagle, originally derived from the coat of arms of the Austrian capital Vienna. The eagle however adopts different forms of representation which are highly adaptive to context. In one situation an eagle is displayed as a stately emblem, then again as a grotesque comic bird, depending on the topic or communication format, but often obviously not following any particular rule.

 

Recognition works by the conditioning of an eagle representation eagle along with the name of the Kunsthalle Wien. Identity thus is created by diversity!

The flexible identity is joined by a geometric grid, inspired by the tradition of the ”Wiener Werkstätte“, which serves as an all-encompassing structuring element of the information architecture of the institution.

 

The repositioning of the institution as a place, which is engaging with the arts also in a societal context, naturally spurs a variety of events and performances. The “Werkstempel” allows the various event formats, whether an exhibition, a festival, a talk or a dinner, to be clearly identifiable for visitors.

 

The Belgian Designer Boy Vereecken crossed a graphical content derivation with an ironic and playful implementation and thus pays tribute to an institution that continuously challenges itself and keeps changing. The new identity is taking the idea of the eagle from the coat of arms of Vienna, but refuses to commit to one specific representation. On the other hand constant is the form of so-called "Werkstempel", not only linguistically, but also creatively refers to the ”Wiener Werkstätte“, a production cooperative of visual artists, founded in 1903, that had been devoted to the spirit of the "Arts and Crafts" movement, a renewal of the concept of art in the field of arts and crafts.

 

In addition to the eagle and the ”Werkstempel“, the communicative messaging priorities of the Kunsthalle Wien have been rethought: The integration of social media channels into offline communication is new to the culture business. Posters, folders and booklets boast a contextual Twitter hashtag, which is almost competing for attention with the corresponding exhibition or event. The dialogue about exhibitions and events, but also with and about the Kunsthalle Wien as an institution, is thus opened and partly transferred to the domain of social media.

 

In 2014, the Kunsthalle Wien won the German Design Award with the rebranding of its visual identity and corporate design. 

 

Design: Boy Vereecken

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