MMBP & Associates’ vivid identity for the Kingdom of Bhutan embraces the country’s rich heritage
In time for the Himalayan Kingdom opening its doors post-COVID, London and Seoul-based consulting agency MMBP & Associates have created the international identity for the country of Bhutan, embracing its character, pride and rich heritage. The result is a bright, distinctive and undeniably vivid; illustratively and typographically combining the artistic and religious aesthetics of the nation within a contemporary, refreshing space.
In line with their extensive use in Bhutanese, illustrations and patterns lead Bhutan’s identity, bringing the ancient art of their ornaments into the modern day. “All illustrations were made in-house by our design team,” Managing Director Julien Beaupré Ste-Marie tells us, “and they were then reviewed with a Bhutanese scholar in Thimphu to ensure we got the iconography right.”
Bhutan’s illustrative, kaleidoscopic identity wouldn’t be possible without the electric colours that bleed across the brand, with its specific hues coming directly from the Bhutanese flag’s yellow and orange, as well as the country’s breathtaking natural landscapes. Culminating in shades of green, blue and black, alongside a series of fiery tones.
Rolled out comprehensively across campaigns, government official websites, national celebrations and everything in between, the scale of the identity is vast and required typographic precision and warmth to traverse its touchpoints effectively. This challenge was pragmatically taken on and encapsulated by MMBP & Associates’ use of Inter as the secondary typeface for technical and body copy. “It’s functional yet sophisticated,” Beaupré Ste-Marie recalls, “and versatile across every platform,” he continues, praising its outstanding legibility and digital optimisation.
“The display font was selected because it is resolutely contemporary yet inspired by heritage dating back to the medieval era,” he remarks, discussing the prominent use of Gerard Unger’s Alverata as the primary typeface for Bhutan, sitting alongside the country’s bespoke wordmark. “It is this perfect balance of contemporary and traditional,” Beaupré Ste-Marie concludes.