Funny how things work out: On Friday of last week, same day as the Brand New Awards judging, we published the Mathaf identity design by Wolff Olins. I published it hesitantly because the images and explanations found online were very scarce, Clinton did a very good job in cobbling together a review based on that, so I went with it. Although Wolff Olins’ entry had arrived at the office earlier in the week I hadn’t had a chance to leaf through it. It was until Friday, when the judges were discussing it, that I was able to see the extent of the identity. When they selected it as Best of Show I was bummed that the post we had about it was not representative of the work. Now that the Mathaf identity has a brighter spotlight on it, I’m very pleased to be able to show some of the images in the entry so that you can see what the judges saw. In Friday’s post we had also wrongly attributed the custom typeface to Tarek Atrissi Design — they were responsible for the hand-drawn type shown here now in its completion, and the thin, mono weight typeface was designed by Pascal Zoghbi from 29ArabicLetters.
Wolff Olins partnered with the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and the Qatar Foundation (QF) to help build the entire brand for the Museum. We took a deep dive into the growing world of arts in the Arab world, met with artists, scholars and art enthusiasts from the region, and mapped out the international competitive set. Based on these insights we developed the brand idea “Ideas Welcome” where art is inspired by ideas and ideas are inspired by art. The ambition was to create a digital museum with a physical space, where people can engage with art beyond the physical space in Doha, Qatar. We worked with poets, artists, and culture experts to create the new brand identity, the new name Mathaf (Museum in Arabic), and two typefaces both in Arabic and English. We designed the digital experience including website architecture, wireframes and layout. We worked closely with the architect to craft a holistic museum experience. We produced thought-provoking items for the museum gift shop and created a range of marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.