Set to open its first exhibition this year, the Moscow Design Museum is “an international exhibition and education platform and the first, the only and the unique design museum in Russia. It is a space where the general public will be able to view the best examples of international and Russian design.” Founded by Alexandra Sankova, Nadezhda Bakuradze, Stepan Lukyanov, and Valery Patkonen — four independent creatives — the museum will have a home base in Moscow’s Artplay culture center but it is mainly imagined as a nomadic, pop-up museum. Its identity has been designed by Amsterdam-based Lava, who also share a partner role in the museum, advising on content and vision.
Inspired by old Russian glass patterns, like these, the icons for the logo are generated on a hard-angled grid that can render dozens of interesting shapes, resulting in a flexible logo with many variations but a very distinct DNA across all of them. The icon sits big and monolithic next to a simple and very serious, condensed, rounded sans serif — a contrast that works very well.
With the wordmark working on its own as well, the icons become an attention-demanding pattern that when used sparingly as in some of the applications shown below is quite beautiful and contemporary but when let loose as in the museum’s website it can become annoyingly distracting to the point of queasiness. Overall, the identity is energetic and unique, avoiding all possible Russian constructivism clichés that Lava even admits, in this interview with Fontanel, they explored and were duly rejected.