The Blackpepper Studio (TBP) build an expressive and powerful brand for the Black Arts Vault initiative
Black Arts Vault (BAV) is dedicated to showcasing a global collection of diverse and vibrant works from Black artists. As a conceptual, multifunctional initiative, it aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for creatives whilst championing their talents. For Lagos and London-based multidisciplinary design practice The Blackpepper Studio (TBP), their brief was simple: to create a bold and ‘slightly’ experimental identity that would create interest, instil pride, and provide a dynamic and functional brand template for future offerings.
With a core focus on visibility, BAV’s visual language is bold, memorable, and unapologetic. Colours were chosen to elevate the skin tone of the artists and their works: deep rich, blue and earthy tones are accompanied by an energising and high contrast of yellow and orange. Meanwhile, circles serve as the key unifying element of the brand, connecting visual elements and serving as a container for text and imagery.
An expressive selection of typefaces contributes to, and reinforces, the personality of the visual language without obstructing or distracting from the works on display. The logo is set in Dave Rowland’s Capsule and has been slightly modified to increase stroke width, creating a more impactful layout.
Ethan Nakache’s serif display typeface Sprat Condensed (via Collletttivo) is used for large header text. “Since the majority of BAV’s audiences and artists are young,” the studio explain, “Sprat’s long sharp serifs provided just the right amount of contemporary and modern editorial feel.” To provide contrast, Leonit Gashi’s Kulture brings in a more geometric flavour. BAV’s typographic fivesome is then rounded out with Indian Type Foundry’s Clash Display and Clash Grotesk – both sans serifs with a twist – as the body copy and fine print.