Located in The Hague, the Panorama Mesdag – a cylindrical landscape completed by Hendrik Willem Mesdag in 1881 – attracts visitors from across the globe. However, with its programme of temporary exhibitions and events complemented by an impressive collection of works by The Hague and Barbizon schools, alongside Japanese arts and crafts, there is more to the Panorama than meets the eye. Seeking to communicate the scope of its attributes and appeal to a wider audience – whilst claiming a place among the nation’s cultural elite – the word Museum was added to the name, and Studio Dumbar/DEPT® was invited to design a new visual identity.
The positioning was clear from the outset: to modernise the museum’s brand and in doing so, broaden its appeal. Looking to the future, one of our main aims was to express an accessible, inclusive tone, celebrating the museum’s heritage whilst preparing it for a more open, dynamic future. The name clearly references the panorama, so it was important for the visual identity to better reflect the rich and varied visitor experience offered by the museum in 2021.
With its simple, curvilinear forms, the new logo celebrates the museum’s star attraction. However, rather than containing the museum name, the curving lines of the panorama taper off, suggesting a more dynamic character. The typographic palette combines classic and modern fonts, while the colour palette borrows from key paintings in the permanent collection. Led by changing combinations of colour, type and image, the identity has an energetic look and feel, illustrating the breadth of what the museum has to offer.
The new look was introduced to the public on the occasion of the museum’s 140th anniversary, enthusiastically opening a new chapter in the story of this cultural gem.