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Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates
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Viet's Ceramic Soul

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates

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Last updated on
January 19, 2024

The Bát Tràng Museum, originally named “Hồn Đất Việt” translating to “Viet’s Ceramic Soul,” represents a significant cultural landmark for Vietnamese. Established by National Artist Vũ Đức Thắng, this first government-authorized private museum in Bát Tràng Village received its license in 2016 by Hanoi’s People Committee. The museum reflects Vũ Đức Thắng’s legacy, notably his creation of 12 unique pottery boots. In 2019, M — N Associates embarked on a mission to rebrand the museum, aiming to infuse contemporary artistry while respecting its rich heritage.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates

The history of Bát Tràng Museum is deeply entwined with the village's 700-year-old ceramic tradition. Situated near the picturesque Hong river in Gia Lam, Hanoi, the village has been a cradle for generations of skilled artisans. Among these, Vũ Đức Thắng emerged as a pioneering figure. After graduating from Hanoi’s University of Industrial Fine Art in 1980, he dedicated his life to the fusion of traditional and modern ceramic art. Thắng's innovative techniques, particularly color-changing glazes and three-dimensional sculpting, set a new standard in ceramic artistry, challenging conventional methods and introducing a fresh perspective.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates

Visiting the museum is akin to entering the personal space of a ceramic artist, filled with jars, artworks, and the palpable essence of creativity. It’s a space that juxtaposes the traditional Vietnamese concept of a museum with the aesthetic beauty of a personal collection, showcasing the best of Vũ Đức Thắng’s lifelong work. This unique atmosphere became a key inspiration for the rebranding initiative led by M — N Associates.


The challenge of rebranding was significant, given the cultural importance and the unique artistic legacy of Vũ Đức Thắng. M — N Associates embarked on a journey to understand the world of ceramics, immersing themselves in the life and works of Vũ Đức Thắng. Their aim was to encapsulate his spirit in the new brand identity, a task that required deep reverence for his work and an understanding of the emotional connection it held.

The solution was multifaceted. Beginning with the introduction of a new name and logo. This dynamic wordmark, inspired by the old logomark, was a nod to Vũ Đức Thắng’s signature style of signing his pottery pieces. The logo symbolized a bridge between the museum’s storied past and its contemporary future, embodying a minimalist yet potent visual statement.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates
Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates



The typography was a critical element in this rebranding strategy. The creation of the MN Vũ Thắng typeface was not just a design choice but a narrative tool, weaving the essence of Vũ Đức Thắng's art into the very letters that spelled out the museum's identity. By incorporating shapes reminiscent of ceramic jars and featuring 'pottery-shoes-soul' inktrap touches, each character of the font carried the weight of tradition and the fluidity of modern design. This bespoke font served as a tribute to the ceramic art, infusing traditional Bat Trang elements into the museum's brand identity.

M — N Associates meticulously crafted the museum's visual system to resonate with the unique beauty of Vũ Đức Thắng’s artworks. This system included a refined color palette that highlighted the vividness and authenticity of the ceramic glazes, an array of patterns and textures that reflected the intricacy of ceramic art, and a set of icons designed for wayfinding applications. The approach was to create a visual language that was both clean and evocative, allowing the art to speak for itself while being framed within a contemporary context.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates



The layout system of the brand was another area of focus, inspired by the three-part floor plan of the museum itself. This grid-based approach brought structure and consistency to the brand’s visual elements, ensuring a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity across all platforms. It was a design that echoed the physical space of the museum, translating its architectural essence into a visual narrative.

Extending this cohesive visual system, the brand identity found applications in various forms. From business cards to outdoor signage, each element of the brand carried the same aesthetic and philosophical underpinnings. The museum’s transformation was palpable, from the tactile feel of a business card to the visual impact of street advertisements and even the unique design of the "Totearound" tote bags. Each piece was a testament to the museum’s new identity, seamlessly integrating the past with the present.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates

Digital integration played a pivotal role in the rebranding process. The museum's website was redesigned to reflect the new brand identity, offering an online space that was both inviting and informative. This digital platform was carefully crafted to not overshadow the artworks but to enhance the visitor’s experience, providing a virtual journey through the museum's halls. The website’s design was thoughtful, coherent, and visually rich, allowing for a deeper engagement with the museum and its collections.

The rebranding of the Bát Tràng Museum by M — N Associates was an exemplary showcase of blending tradition with modernity. Their work not only displayed remarkable skill but also added significant value to the community. The new branding, particularly the "MN Vũ Thắng" typeface with its unique pottery designs, breathed new life into the museum's exhibits.

Bat Trang Museum new logo and visual identity X M — N Associates

This project successfully modernized the museum while respecting its rich history. The rebranding served as more than just a visual makeover; it became a platform that truly reflected the spirit of Vũ Đức Thắng's art. Initially met with some apprehension, the endeavor evolved into an enriching and engaging experience, highlighting the power of thoughtful branding in cultural institutions.



Credits:

Creative Director: Duy — N | Art Director: Anh Nguyễn | Designer: Quân Nguyễn, Bảo Trương, Đức Ngô | Producer: Loan Nguyễn | Project Manager: M — Lan | Typography under Type Associates | Type Concept: Duy — N & M — Lan | Type Design: Duy — N, Gydient | Type Engineer: Gydient | Portfolio Photography: Lê Lai | Much appreciate ELLE Vietnam and Monkey Minh for imagery. | Digital Retoucher: An Nguyễn, Phúc Trần | Cinematographer: Huỳnh Viết Trường

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Bát Tràng Museum's visual identity and design awards
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Brand name
Bát Tràng Museum
Sector
Museum
-
Entertainment
Founded year
Vietnam Market Entry
2016
Origin country
Vietnam
Project context
Rebranding
Release date
December 2021
Signature color
Bát Tràng Museum
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Bát Tràng Museum Case study

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Post Contributors: Duy — N, Mo Abuelella
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