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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.

 

Zoo in Disguise

Artis Natura Magistra Logo, Before and After

Founded in 1838, Natura Artis Magistra (Latin for “Nature is the Teacher of Art”) located in Amsterdam is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands. Home to 900 species it also has a botanical garden, a planetarium, an art collection, a geological museum, and a zoological museum. Currently undergoing a major renovation, Artis has introduced a new identity designed by Amsterdam-based Van Lennep.

Artis Natura Magistra

Existing lettering on the entrance of the zoo, built in the 1980s.

The new logo is a direct reference to an existing piece of lettering found on the zoo’s entrance. To some this might seem like a lazy solution, but sometimes the right answer is already there and it’s simply a matter of discovering it. I love how the letters are based on the width and separation of the vertical bars of the fence. After digitizing the lettering — which translates really well as a wordmark — Van Lennep paired it with a Lineto’s Simple to give it that edgy European look that, well, Europeans do so well. The rest of the identity utilizes Omnes, which seems like an odd combination, and I’m not sure it works, but it’s not too offensive. And to tie it all together are gorgeous images of animals.

Artis Natura Magistra

Image source for above and below: Fontanel.

Artis Natura Magistra

Artis magazine.

This certainly looks more like an art gallery than a zoo — and it’s an amazing contrast to the recently reviewed San Diego Zoo — but there is nothing wrong in defying conventions a little bit.

Apologies for briefer-than-usual review. Trying to get back in rhythm after Friday’s conference — videos coming soon!

Thanks to Thomas Fontanel for the tip.

 

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