Responses by M — N Associates.
Background: This rebranding project sought to modernize the visual system of the art museum Bát Tràng Museum, aligning it with the cultural legacy of ceramicist, painter and Vietnamese National Artisan Vũ Thắng, while preserving the ceramic heritage of the village Bát Tràng. Targeting a diverse audience—from students to art professionals to government officials and the wider community—the rebrand seeks to foster increased engagement with the museum, infusing contemporary design elements into its identity. The new Bát Tràng Museum identity bridges tradition and modernity, offering an engaging experience for visitors passionate about art, the cultural heritage of Vietnam and the essence of Thắng’s life’s work.
Design thinking: The museum seeks to create a distinctive visual identity reflecting the cultural importance of Thắng and Bát Tràng, hoping to get wider recognition for both. We developed a new name and a unique typeface inspired by pottery shapes, integrating subtle “pottery-shoes-soul” inktrap touches. Our design follows a consistent grid system based on the museum’s layout for harmony. Also, we’ve chosen a modern photography style capturing the essence of our subjects. All museum-branded elements are carefully crafted to connect with both the institution and its diverse audience.
Challenges: Vietnamese museum branding leans toward abstract marks and traditional design motifs with the same typography and layout system, missing out on originality and occasionally even overshadowing the art. Bát Tràng Museum takes a different route, spotlighting artworks by centering on a dynamic typography-based system, ensuring each piece attracts a wide audience and communicates more effectively.
Favorite details: The custom inktrap shapes on the font are the detail we’re most proud of. It’s like including the meaningful soul of normal inktrap typefaces in a way that’s appropriate to the project.
Visual influences: The signature and different pottery shapes of the museum’s collection inspired us a lot during the process of creating the visual identity.
Specific project demands: The most difficult part was proving to the client the branding worked with the typography as a linear system without keeping the abstract brand mark that the museum originally had.