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Building an iconic identity for an iconic institution.

Zeitz MOCAA
M&C Saatchi Abel

Branding

The launch of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the continent’s largest institution of its kind, marked a major cultural milestone for Africa, and for the world. But before this iconic destination was ready to welcome the public, it needed a brand identity that was as unique, as distinctive, as iconic as the museum itself. This was our challenge: to create branding – a whole visual language – for Zeitz MOCAA that would do justice to its significance, while capturing its spirit.

An icon of creativity had been born. 

The design concept was rooted in what already existed – an old grain silo – and what it was to become – an art museum. We began by distilling this multi-faceted destination into an elementary, but impactful graphic. The blueprint of the historic silo, which comprises 42 vertical concrete cylinders, served as inspiration for a beautifully simple design grid. And from this grid, we created the brand’s logo, its iconography, its distinctive typeface, and its entire visual system.

Then we really started to play. We wanted to ensure that the museum’s brand identity captured the vibrant, diverse and ever-evolving nature of contemporary African art. So we developed an aesthetic language that’s as dynamic as the destination. The design grid now morphs, adapts to its environment, and flits between colour combinations that speak to the surface it’s on or the artwork it’s nearest.

Building a Brand Identity

2018

Zeitz MOCAA, and its unique branding, successfully captured the imagination of the public. In its inaugural year, the museum welcomed almost 300 000 visitors, won 17 awards, made close to R40 million in revenue, and enjoyed over 175 000 website visits. And us? We brought home a Loerie for brand identity and collateral design work. And the satisfaction of having helped to create an icon for an icon.

  • 300 000 visitors
  • 17 awards
  • R40 million in revenue
  • 175 000 website visits

More about the work

Because a distinctive African institution deserves a distinctive African identity.

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