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New Corporate Design

23. March 2018

The new look of Schwules Museum in Berlin reconnects with the radical and self-confident spirit of its origins in the mid-eighties. Dynamic, innovative and more modern, we establish ourselves more than ever before as a contemporary museum at the cross-section of LGBTIQ* community and cultural institution.

Since its founding in 1985, it has been one of the great strengths of Schwules Museum to combine the passion of an association (“Verein”), run by volunteers with great passion and pride, with the specialized demands towards a professional museum.  Today, we are an intimate community center in the heart of Berlin-Tiergarten, and at the same time an internationally renowned institution for archiving and presenting LGBTIQ* history and culture via exhibitions, events and education programs.

The highly individual visual language of the new museum appearance is intended to interest new target groups for our singular programmatic policy, reflecting the character of our house and history. Apart from bold new fonts and a novel design of our brand name (“Schwules Museum”), we also introduce a new logo: SMU.

The SMU abbreviation has been used internally and externally for years. The new SMU logo highlights the process of change our museum has undergone, and also nods at its queerness by using the three letters in constantly changing format. You will find many variations of SMU – in many shapes and colors – in our publications, on our website, and on handouts.  They all reflect the evolution and re-definition of a “faggot” museum to a “queer” museum.

For this, we use a new color system that is composed of primary colors. The use of these colors – and mixing them up infinitely – is what we want to paint our “rainbow” with.

None of the elements stand alone. Their constantly varying combination represents the vitality and diversity of the museum – in its exhibition content but also its staff structure.

In the recent past we tried to express the diversity of our exhibitions and activities as well as that of our staff and volunteers with the added all-inclusive “gender star” in our name. The feedback we received, however, was that many of those we wanted to include felt excluded or “reduced to a mere footnote.” The visual vitality of our new design is an attempt to express the opening of our institution towards and the inclusion of all people from the LGBTIQ* community. We hope this will be more honest. That is why we have also decided to drop the star from our branding, in the name and logo.

Part of our design relaunch is the development of a new museum website. From now on, it will feature the various departments of our institution – exhibitions, archive, library, education and event program – as fully equal next to one another. And: the website can now be navigated on mobile devices without a problem.

In the future, we will also offer new merchandise products in our museum shop with the new corporate design.

The relaunch is the result of a cooperation with the internationally renowned design and research studio Goys & Birls in Amsterdam.

Project management

Vera Hofmann / Jan Schnorrenberg (Schwules Museum)

Concept, design, art direction

Goys & Birls