Responses by Marina Willer, partner, Pentagram Design
Background: The brief was to create a visual identity, and design the website and a family of new brand applications for the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, which preserves the legacy of painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy’s work.
Reasoning: The aim was to create an expression that used the same methods and experimental approach that Moholy-Nagy often used, with light and projection, which became iconic amongst his very broad range of artistic experiments.
Challenges: To use similar methods as Moholy-Nagy and to not fall into the seductive digital possibilities that would be tempting to use instead, and to so without mimicking his work.
Favorite details: The element I’m most proud of is the typography we created: It cannot be reproduced as it was made with light, water and projections, creating a set of conditions that we couldn’t completely control or repeat the outcome.
Visual influences: The major influence for this project was the work of Moholy-Nagy himself.
Time constraints: This is a project that needed time to explore. Having said that, the idea came to me straight away, as Moholy-Nagy has been a major inspiration to me and I love doing those kinds of experiments. So, it was just the right opportunity to do something that I always wanted to explore but that needed to be relevant to the project. We have these ideas inside us and they come out during relevant opportunities. Then, we needed time as a team to create the project.
Specific demands: The project needed to work well as a digital archive and interact with Moholy-Nagy’s work. That means the layers between content and brand needed to be clear. Also, of course, making something expressive as well as legible is always a fine balance.
Anything new: I used a similar way of thinking when creating the identity for the Tate 20 years ago, and this reminded me of the beauty of embracing methods that are not so predictable.
Alternative approach: I loved every aspect of this project and wouldn’t change anything. I just wish I'd had more time to spend with Moholy-Nagy’s family—that was such a privilege.