champs-libre_case-study_202009043

2020

New visual identity for Les Champs Libres of Rennes Métropole
An "interlaCed" logotype synonymous of cultural connection

Les Champs libres is a cultural institution situated in the Rennes Métropole. It brings together three entities under the same roof — the library, the Museum of Brittany and the Espace des Sciences. The project born in 1992 had initially chosen the name "Les Champs Libres" to evoke a source of life, a nourishing space without borders, owned by everyone, in keeping with the cultural lineup.

Graphéine accompanied this institution in the conception of a common visual identity, linking its three constituent entities.

An architectural project that reflects Britan territory?

The architecture of Les Champs Libres’ building is massive. "Rough" as its architect Christian de Portzamparc himself describes it. It seemed necessary to counterbalance this with an aesthetic that emphasizes lightness and flexibility.

A certain roundness which corresponds better to the region of Brittany and to the imagery of triskells, marine knots... The building hidden by the train station, must open up towards the heart of the city. For that, Les Champs Libres had to acquire a memorable and recognizable visual identity that would assert its presence.

Unite and federate around a common logotype

The new visual identity of Les Champs Libres had to set up a clear brand architecture with its constituents.
It was important to conceive a warm identity with a high visibility that lends itself well to the implementation of a strong interior and exterior signage. A brand with the image of a welcoming place, which takes part in the major social and environmental issues of the city for today and tomorrow.

An existing logotype with a typographical choice a "Minimum" out of date

Previously, the Les Champs Libres logotype was composed using the typeface 'Minimum' in its Bing version, designed by Pierre di Sciullo in 2004 (the original Minimum dating back to 1986). His drawing, although hand-made, is inspired by the grids formed by the pixels of the first personal computers. Without curves, only with verticals, horizontals and sometimes 45° diagonals, the result is a highly technological-looking typeface, with a strong 90s style. A typeface that reinforced a rigid, inflexible image, ignoring the human aspect, which remains at the
heart of the institution.

The logos of the Library and Museum of Brittany were also composed in Minimum in its original version. Only Espaces des Sciences had its own full-fledged logotype with no link to the other entities. This split hampered the recognizability of the project and made the understanding of the place more complex.

Graphéine's mission was to create the visual identity of a place but also of an experience. We had to solve the problem of brand architecture by uniting the 3 entities under the same banner. To create a logo that reaffirms Les Champs Libres' values of "welcoming, common, plural home" and builds public loyalty.

A brand new monogram for Les Champs Libres : The interlaCing

In painting and sculpture, interlacing is an ornament that evokes entangled cords without ends, and is usually symmetrical. Constructed with a single line, the interlaced emblem symbolizes different paths that intersect and meet at a point like an agora. Its construction also brings flexibility and a human touch that contrasts with the architecture. A simple and original symbol with great signage strength.

A visual identity for and by all

It was important for us to propose a flexible identity so that everyone can develop a sense of ownership as well as an emotional bond towards Les Champs Libres. Everyone can appropriate the emblem: draw it, decorate it. Its infinite potential of extension and adaptability ensures that it can be at the heart of the communication.

A plural and playful communication

The communication of Les Champs Libres is based on 4 visual principles of using its emblem and putting it in the spotlight. The chameleon interlacing version puts the emblem in the center and decorates it differently according to the seasons and themes. The typographic interlacing helps in creating day-to-day communication by deploying a bank of words built around the letter/emblem C and representing the qualities of Les Champs Libres. Two other visual principles play with the integration of the emblem in the environment of Les Champs Libres and with its public. The emblem intertwines with the environment at different levels, embracing the activities of the place.

The new visual identity takes up the challenge of bringing together its entire cultural offering under a single identity. The message has been made more readable and in line with the values of the place which has a strong social and human commitment. A cultural link!

Context

Until January 2019, Les Champs Libres was made up of 4 "entities" with no hierarchical link between them and with their own means to carry out their project: the management of Les Champs Libres, which also manages the shared means, the library of Rennes Métropole, the museum of Brittany, and the association of the Espace des sciences.
These last three structures existed before they moved into Les Champs Libres and their integration did not go without saying. This context, as well as the absence of a real common graphic charter, did not allow the client to approach the exploitation of Les Champs Libres as that of one and the same cultural establishment.
Rennes Métropole has decided to change the governance of Les Champs Libres and to entrust Corinne Poulain, the new director who arrived in October 2018, with the mission of the general management of the establishment. The confidence of the different components of Les Champs Libres with regard to this new hierarchical positioning has created the conditions for a reflection on a "Les Champs Libres" brand.

Goals

The global objective was to state what Les Champs Libres are, their strength and singularity: to be at the same time a place of knowledge and a place of everyday life that relies on many contributors. By playing on the quality of the experience of the place and its welcome, it was a question of creating an attachment to the place, to this totemic building of the city, located just a stone's throw from the train station, gateway to Brittany. The third objective was to promote the values of the Champs Libres, "welcoming, common, plural house".

The new visual identity was to allow :
- to assert the positioning of the Champs Libres as a "mother house" (the place where everything happens) towards the Museum of Brittany, the Library and the Science Space.
- to create a strong identity for Les Champs Libres which will valorize at the same time the expertise of the programming / transmitting structures.


Share this project:
Project expertise:
Logo creation, visual identity and graphic guidelines.
Type of client:
Communication in the cultural sector. Heritage, museums & cultural spaces.

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