République Studio’s identity for ‘Gala Dalí, the surrealist muse’ is itself an exhibition of elegance
Parisian graphic design team République Studio have tackled the art world with their wonderful exhibition identity for ‘Gala Dalí, the surrealist muse.’ Taking place at Le Château des Baux de Provence, the exhibition looks at the work of prominent surrealist Gala Dalí, the inspiration she had on other artists as well as both her artistic and romantic partnership with husband Salvador Dalí.
In discussion with founder of République Studio Tom Uferas, he remarks how the location of the exhibition itself had a large part to play in the identity’s aesthetic. “The garden of Le Château is very beautiful,” he tells us, “it overlooks the village of Les Baux and is filled with huge rocks and lavender fields,” enjoying the project not just for the amazing brief but the opportunity to travel to the South of France.
The contorting path through the garden of Le Château made it difficult to linearly display the posters across the space, telling us “we couldn’t move the iron blackboards, so we had to be strategic about it. This led to the posters being numbered, in doing so, guiding the visitors chronologically through the garden towards the exhibition. This was accompanied by a booklet, similarly numbered to the posters, with text matching their corresponding boards. “It was a great challenge to set everything together,” Uferas explains, “and to create something cohesive and appealing that would pay tribute to this incredible woman and artist.” The exhibition’s path follows the life of Gala, “from her childhood to her last days,” Uferas explains, along the way drawing parallels with Salvador Dalí’s surrealist paintings (in which Gala Dalí often appears) and Gala’s own prominence in the movement.
République Studio’s resulting identity somewhat matches its surroundings through the elegance and simplicity of its design, producing something that is as colourful and beautiful as its surroundings and the vivacious work of Gala Dalí herself. “Four Pantone colours were chosen to go alongside the photographs,” Uferas explains, using red, blue, yellow and green throughout, chosen for their recurrence in Dalí’s paintings. “We chose bright, vibrant colours that would surprise and draw the attention of the visitor that wanders in the garden,” Uferas adds, with all of these elements tied together with the selection of striking artworks and photographs chosen by writer and the exhibition’s curator Marc Ernest Fourneau.
Coordinating the tone of voice and overall pleasantness of the colours, République Studio wanted two similarly simple and charming typefaces. “First, we wanted a typeface that radiated elegance and femininity with a classical feeling and modern touch,” Uferas adds, “just like Gala Dalí did,” choosing Saol by Schick Toikka to reflect this. Wanting to match Saol with a grotesk, République Studio adopted Söhne by Klim Type Foundry, explaining “we wanted a grotesk typeface that would work well not only in big but in small sizes too,” finding Söhne the perfect fit. Known to not hide away from a typographic reference, a “curvy line” glyph from Söhne is used across the identity as a clin d’œil to Dalí’s own style – as well as a sun to symbolise Le Château des Baux de Provence.