An identity design using custom type with multiple print and web applications for experimental exhibition, Raymond, curated by artists Luca Trevisani and Olaf Nicolai. The exhibition site, the Grand Hotel et Des Palmes, Palermo was once the home (and place of death) of visionary writer and proto-surrealist Raymond Roussel. An international group of twenty-nine artists, amongst them Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Gianfranco Baruchello and Angela Bulloch, responded to the hotel and its history through a diverse series of events, happenings and artworks.

We made a bespoke typeface central to our identity design. Derived from research into early 20th C transitional serif letterforms, Raymond was given a contemporary twist through subtle violations of the category, combining it with serif characteristics. Whilst the o is slanted, for example, the uppercase U is constructed as if lower. This approach carried over into the type’s application. Whereas classical faces are typically open, our tight arrangement of letters undercuts the type’s humanist aspect.

The exhibition webpage employs a ‘surreal’ navigation technique (multi-layer custom navigations in the form of high-speed animations) to create a user experience of discontinuous movement that recalls visitors’ non-linear passage through the physical exhibition.

The fold-out guide combines historical facts pertaining to Roussel’s biography with a calendar of events connected with the exhibition. Past and present are visually condensed in a highly compressed graphic treatment.