Van Gogh Museum

Creating a visual identity that counterbalances Van Gogh's work

When you create a visual identity for the Van Gogh Museum you cannot leave the work of the famous artist aside. But too much attention is also a no go.

Together with the curators we investigated Van Gogh’s paintings. Eventually, we concentrated on one brushstroke, from Het Korenveld (The Cornfield), for the praphic pattern.

Next, we chose four principle colours from two of the favourites: Zonnebloemen (Sunflowers) and Amandelbloesem (Almond blossom). Eight supplementary colours from other works completed the colour palette.

With this ‘footprint’ a world of possibilities opened up to us.

The simple, black and white logo refers to Gerrit Rietveld’s original design for the museum and forms a powerful contrast with the intensity of Van Gogh’s work.

The personal notes from Vincent van Gogh finish the picture. The quotes from his letters provide a beautiful glimpse into his world and his need to create art that would stand the test of time.

‘In this way, we broaden and deepen our story, and add new elements. This is how we pass on Van Gogh’s legacy to new generations, so that his inspiration lives on.’

Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum