New Cultural Venue for London Hackney Arts Centre Unveils Its New Identity
This September sees the launch of an exciting new cultural centre in the heart of East London. Brought to life by the team behind Village Underground, the new identity of the Hackney Arts Centre is unveiled today and the venue will now be known as Evolutionary Arts Hackney (EartH).
EartH opens its doors with a special programme of shows and events in September ‘18 and will become a fully functioning 21st-century arts centre by 2019. This first mission statement demonstrates EartH’s focus in its music programming and gives a taste of the lively mixed arts programme to come.
Built on the belief that Art brings change, progress and transformation, EartH will be curated to span art forms and a multitude of genres and voices encompassing an international live music programme, grassroots music, special talks and debates, comedy, and film.
“It is a joy working with Richard and 72andSunny Amsterdam, as it always is when you find people who quickly understand who you are and where you're going. They had such an immediate intuitive hold on how we needed to position the project that we wanted them to have the creative freedom to take us all on a journey. There is real artistry in the work and that’s what we wanted. There is a lot of power in the bold simplicity and its something with so many avenues to explore long into the future.”,says Auro Foxcroft, Founder, Village Underground.
The design identity created by 72andSunny Amsterdam has been mostly informed by the rawness of the refurbishment project done at the former Hackney Arts Centre, now EartH.
Music and the performing arts have the power to bring people together, and so the physical space played a key role in inspiring the design and the communication language, which aims to translate the idea of people congregating into one space. The circular shape used in the logo will also be present in the different communication materials, including posters, branded materials and social assets.
“At 72andSunny Amsterdam, music and all forms of art are a shared passion, so we were naturally drawn to this project and what the venue represents. Plus, personally I have a long history of design clients from the music and entertainment industries. Following some initial discussions we pretty much had an ‘open’ brief; as a creative collaboration it became quickly apparent that our objectives were very similar, which were to create something ownable, iconic, relevant and yet flexible long term for the venue”, says Richard Harrington, Director of Design, 72andSunny Amsterdam.
The design had one key challenge: making sure the identity of EartH would stand out in a crowded cultural space like London. The solution created is simple yet playful: by playing with upper and lowercase, the word art becomes the focal point of Evolutionary Arts Hackney and truly accentuates it, being at the core of everything that happens inside the venue. It becomes a celebration of the arts in the venue and London.
The design is a combination of several thoughts. Firstly the logomark for the venue is simple, we didn’t want this to be over stylized or try too hard, as it is, and should be part of a much larger design language and brand experience. However the circle as a consistent form throughout the language will play a big role as one of our branding assets, it will display and be a highlighting device for creative content. Then the overall design language was both a visual response to the expression and energy of music and performance, and then following a visit to the venue the physical space itself and what it represents really became my true source of inspiration. When you are inside the venue, it’s very, very powerful - a beautiful space that has been designed purely for people to come together and celebrate, congregate, and form community”, adds Harrington.
To translate the idea that EartH is open to everyone in the community and to all forms of cultural expression, Helvetica is the typeface chosen. Helvetica stands for the most simple, universal, and inclusive font available. The simplicity of the font is paired with the complexity in which the designs are laid out in the designs - similar to the simplicity of the venue and the complexity of its use.
“Music and performance have that power of creating a feeling of togetherness, and sometimes it can almost feel spiritual. I was inspired by the visual patterns of geometric floor plans from building that are designed to hold many people, colourful data visualizations of seating plans and the coming together in religious buildings, sports stadiums and traditional concert halls etc. These powerful and recognizable geometric formations give us a very unique typographic system and structure plus in combination with the circle form will be the foundation of the total design language across all venue touchpoints. We are also currently developing a generative version of the overall language with will respond from sound and external data driven social platforms, so the whole language becomes a live visualization of sound and conversation that is currently happening in and around the event.”, concludes Richard Harrington.
In addition to the branding identity, 72andSunny’s studio HECHO Amsterdam was responsible for producing the launch film for EartH, which includes an original music composition by in-house technical musical wizard, Leonidas Diamantis.
The story behind EartH is extraordinary. On the busy streets of Dalston, faded into obscurity stood a huge, forgotten Art Deco cinema - the last movie, Scarface, played in 1984. After that, the building was broken up: part wedding venue, part snooker hall, while the main auditorium was locked up and left derelict for 40 years, until a chance discovery in 2015. The building is now faithfully being restored and reimagined, with many of its original art deco features returning to their former glory.
The space is made up of three areas comprising two venues and a restaurant. The Theatre is the seated venue, which is undergoing a light touch refurbishment while the former stalls of the cinema are being transformed into a standing venue - The Concert Hall. Parts of the original cinema lobby makes way for a contemporary new restaurant and social space. The three spaces allow for a wide range of uses for a mixed audience, from day to night, week to weekend.
The restoration and redesign of the art deco cinema in Dalston laid derelict for 40 years is a project that has been brought to life by the team behind Village Underground, the much loved Shoreditch cultural venue known for its commitment to experimental and innovative performance and art.
EartH aims to be a springboard for the next generation of creative talent and one of its central partners is Community Music, a leading London charity for music and young people. Based within the venue, the two organisations will collaborate to engage with hundreds of young people – particularly those who are socially excluded - giving them new experiences and training in music, arts and other creative disciplines, and providing positive learning opportunities to create routes into education and employment. First on the agenda is a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to transform a 100 square meter basement space into a new education hub for young people - The Community Music Studios, to be kitted out with the latest music technology equipment.
The campaign will launch on Wednesday, 29th August and run for five weeks until 3rd October. Save the dates and join the crowdfunding mailing list: https://www.hackneyartscentre.org/support
For more ticket information visit: www.earthhackney.co.uk