When exhibition communication brings new target groups to the museum: Making van Gogh.
- Städel Museum
- Visual Identity
What happens when the most visited museum in Germany meets a brand agency? All their expertise comes together. Working not for but with our clients: we had rarely been able to fulfil this better than in our work with the Städel museum for the exhibition on van Gogh. We advised, supported and inspired the museum team.
The foundation for this kind of relationship is openness from the beginning. The process requirements are clarified on both sides. So it does not start with a briefing but with an exchange of experiences and expectations. The next step is to provide the right impetus using the right tools. Methods are called for with which strategic and formal foundations can be developed that are always suitable to the project progress. So we produced deliverables with the Städel team in multi-stage workshops:
Workshop 1 with the entire team from the curators to the marketing and communication managers and the museum director led us to the brand idea. The initial questions: What does the Städel hope to achieve? What distinguishes this exhibition from all other exhibitions about van Gogh? It was on this basis that the exhibition title was created in a dialogue between the Städel and us.
The balancing act between scientific demands and inspiring communication is no easy task for a museum. In our brand workshop, the Städel chose a target group that will lead the museum into the future without losing sight of its roots.
In Workshop 2, we worked with the Städel Museum’s marketing and communications team to identify the strategic target group and develop the communications idea. Which channels are we going to use to send which messages to reach the target group and arouse their interest in the exhibition? Joint brainstorming led us to concrete measures.
We believe in the power of interdisciplinary work. Together with the experts from the Städel, we developed ideas for communication that turns young people into exhibition fans. Using social media monitoring, we identified who is talking about the Städel and van Gogh where and what they are saying: an excellent basis for identifying gaps, understanding trends and using both in the interest of the museum.
Digital Communication Consulting
Workshop 3 took place at our studio in Berlin; now it was the designers’ turn. We supported the formal implementation of the communications idea in the form of two design sprints. We developed the exhibition communication using methods such as image description, a mood board, and creative writing.
Not shaping the process myself but taking on the advisory role in this process was a great challenge for me. During the process, I became aware once again that every designer and every company approaches new tasks differently and that one has to take the time to find a common language.
The final draft marks the first conclusion of a collaboration that is also insightful for us. In terms of content, it was important to us to look beyond all clichés – to respectfully confront the myth but also to deviate from it, to create contemporary accessibility, to enable real debate. We consistently focused the exhibition title on the target group, which led to a rather unusual result in a factual museum context: “Making van Gogh – the story of a German love” once again shows that the Städel is boldly picking up on new ideas and impetus and facing the challenges of the future.