Karens Minde Kulturhus is an independent cultural center in the area of Sydhavnen, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The great red bricks building of the center has a long history: first a farm, then an asylum, the castle-like building was rehabilitated into a cultural center only in the 1990s. The place’s programmation of reflects its eclectic evolution: it can host cooking workshops as much as jazz festivals and yoga courses. Karens Minde Kulturhus with its associated venue Klein is renowned for its dynamic activity and diverse offerings, and is one of the rare cultural centers managed by an association.
In order to render this diversity in its identity, graphic designer Nils Dam Nordlund conceived an identity that keeps on reinventing itself since 2017. It relies mainly on colorful images and illustrations: the posters and program leaflets catch the eye and make their way in a field of cultural design where austerity has become the main thing, and where the use of figurative illustration has often been put aside. The liveliness of the place is evoked by the richness of visuals. Furthermore, it can talk to anyone willing to be part of such a dynamic center without much elitist bias.
We could wonder where the unity of the identity comes from: in addition to the more or less realistic illustrations and their pop colors, the answer lies in the use of Proto Grotesk from Production Type. The apparent simplicity of the typeface disturbed by a few artificial serifs gives the touch of unity the design needed without giving up on originality. The familial center with its wide range of cultural offer has found its voice in this combination.