Carnegie International 2018

Identity, collateral, book, website & signage

For the 57th Carnegie International—the design, editorial, and cura­to­r­ial process for which stretches over years — the creative team that was assembled sought to expose process. Curator Ingrid Schaffner proposed three distinct phases that she termed “Truss” (the lead-​up), “Fuss” (the exhi­bi­tion on display), and “Catenary” (the archiving, the send-off).

As such, we proposed that both the design and the naming should reflect this as well.

Materials produced during Truss, under the truncated name “Carnegie Int’l 57th Ed. 2018,” would be over­printed on recycled col­lat­eral from previous Internationals (including the website). A mono­spaced version of Christian Schwartz’s Produkt typeface was com­mis­sioned for a rougher, more pre­lim­i­nary feel, and always set at a con­sis­tent size, with simple cap­i­tal­iza­tion, spacing, and lots of hyphens used for hierarchy.

In Fuss, the name was untrun­cated, and in stark contrast to the design aesthetic of com­pa­ra­ble exhi­bi­tions, the design was allowed to flourish and grow quite fanciful, in line with Ingrid’s mantra of “museum joy” and her desire to create nar­ra­tives connected to the institution’s past. We also wanted to connect it to the city, and to that end designed large truss-​like struc­tures for every­thing from the title wall to didactics. It was also during this time that we designed and published the Guidebook, in a format recalling pock­etable Baedeker travel guides with which to welcome inter­na­tional visitors not just to the exhi­bi­tion, but Pittsburgh as a city.

In Catenary, the name and identity was designed to “snap back” to a more archival form. Previous Internationals, con­sis­tency incon­sis­tently named, were to be retroac­tively recat­e­go­rized according to our chosen format of CI57 – 2018. We designed the Dispatch, which returned to Produkt, mixed with Christian’s Graphik, and variable-​width. Seeing that its structure would allow for it, we designed it such that each suc­ces­sive section would be set in smaller and smaller type, receding into the distance.