Dutch design agency Thonik has created a visual identity for the M+ museum in Hong Kong featuring a range of vibrant colors influenced by the city’s architecture and neon signage.
The integrated design system by Thonic will be used for the museum’s online, offline and onsite communication.
Used in conjunction with a logo designed by British design firm North, the identity is intended to be recognizable, practical and representative of the institution’s intercultural focus.
The project, which is shortlisted in the graphic design category at Dezeen Awards 2022, uses a range of mid-tone colors that recall Hong Kong’s urban fabric, including the neon signs and screens used by advertisers.
“A unique color concept bridges vibrant green, blue and orange with softer tones and grey,” the studio explained.
“It is a conceptual color set that fits the vibrant neon colors that are so typical for Hong Kong with the gray of high-rises of the big city.”
The color palette is produced by combining red-green-blue (RGB) hues with 50 per cent black to create tonal consistency.
This technique means that when the resulting colors are used as backgrounds for text, black or white lettering will always be legible.
“The color concept is connected to the optical science of the workings of the human eye,” said Thonik, which was also influenced by the experiments of the color theorist and Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten.
“Scientific, conceptual and human-centred, the identity fits to the core of the museum’s vision and to the architecture and the specifics of Hong Kong.”
The identity project connects the museum’s facade, the website, social media platforms, wayfinding and a promotional campaign involving billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising.
The concept is applied to printed materials including maps and guides, as well as to a special M+ product line sold in the museum’s shop.
The M+ museum of visual culture was designed by Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron and completed in 2021. The building’s facade features a large, integrated LED screen, which is visible across the harbor in the West Kowloon district.
The M+ identity is one of two projects by Thonik that feature on the graphic design shortlist at Dezeen Awards 2022. The other is a new identity for Dutch Design Week, which features lettering that evokes a stylized tulip flower.
Thonik is an Amsterdam-based collective led by designers Nikki Gonnissen and Thomas Widdershoven. The studio specializes in visual communication, graphic identity, interaction and motion design.
The photography is courtesy of Thonic.