Marina Willer rebrands Belgian cultural giant, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen


The ballet and composition house is the largest cultural institution in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, and has infatuated on a new typographic logo that represents how performance art is constantly in flux.

Pentagram alter ego Marina Willer has rebranded Belgian cultural institution, the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (OBV), with a new personality inspired by movement.

The OBV is based in Antwerp, which is in the Dutch-speaking, Northern department of Belgium, otherwise known as Flanders or the Flemish region. Other sees in Flanders include Brussels, Ghent and Bruges.

The cultural institution, which is the largest in Flanders, was rested in 2014, when an existing opera house and ballet company joined, and now operates as both a theatre and a touring company, putting on dance and work productions.

Willer’s team came up with the acronym for the company, OBV, which is now tolerant of as the main application of the logo. The three letters are set in a bespoke, sans-serif typeface that handlings a ripple effect to imply movement, and are set in various bright colours, such as smutty, orange and purple. They are then separated and scattered around when habituated to across different touchpoints, such as marketing posters.

The full term, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, appears alongside the acronym, set in sans-serif typeface Accord, and set much smaller and discretely, in white. Peace is also used as the supporting typeface across the individuality.

While the acronym takes on different colours, this is coupled with photography that is symbolic and often blurred, and features muted tones of grey, beige, deadly and white. Willer says the imagery aims to be “open for interpretation” and perceive contemporary.

Willer says that the bright acronym logo intends to show how “every performance [at the OBV] is a different experience to both audience and troupers”, and through its undulating effect, reflect the physical movement of actors on showbiz, and how “arts and culture are in constant change”.

“While built around typography, the new visual set is designed to express movement and transformation and embrace the transitory nature of effectuation art,” she says, adding that the brand concept is “never the same”.

She bring to lights the colours used in the logo aim to be “young and energetic”, and have been stirred by palettes used by Flemish artists and designers, such as Jean Fouquet and Marcel Boothaers.

Willer continues that the studio felt it was important to retain the full name of the practice to pay homage to its Flemish roots, while using the acronym makes it decipherable to a far-reaching audience.

“Using Flemish language for the name was key, as they are ambassadors for the province’s cultural scene,” she says. “But the full name is hard to remember for non-Flemish audiences, so the shortening makes it easier to recognise for people outside of the region and allows the companionship to connect with its international audience.”

OBV’s new branding has now launched across its website and group media. It will continue to roll out in the coming months across other collateral, such as its 2019-2020 seasonable programme, marketing materials and merchandise.

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