Working with a Living Artist to Build the Graphic Universe of his Museum

Branding, Digital, Signage, Architecture & Heritage, Arts & Culture
Musée Soulages
Rodez, France, 2013
Architect : RCR architectes
Scenographer : MAW

In 2005, Pierre Soulages and his wife Colette donated an exceptional collection of 250 works and 250 documents to the Greater Rodez Urban Community, which picked the Catalan architects RCR to build the future Soulages Museum.

We won the signage consultation bid with a very rhythmic graphic track playing on the contrast between a serif font for the word “museum” and a non-serif font for the name of Soulages. We then presented the project to Pierre and Colette Soulages. The painter wanted Helvetica to write his name, and nothing else. Based on this constraint, we chose a very typographic universe. To get out of the clichés about Soulages’ work, we suggested using blue to go with black and white.

These very Swiss graphic principles were applied in the signage system. Inspired by Otl Aicher’s work, we drew a family of pictograms that replaced the text as soon as possible. The signage is magnetic on steel walls or placed in direct marking depending on the nature of the wall.