M+, Hong Kong’s brand new museum of visual culture
M+ is Hong Kong’s new Museum on visual culture, focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image. The iconic building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron opened at the end of 2021.
Facing the harbour, the M+ Facade is embedded with LEDs for screening moving image works, which can be seen from the West Kowloon waterfront promenade and Hong Kong Island.
Thonik developed a visual identity that works across the institution’s physical and digital platforms. M+ visual identity uses a range of mid-tone colours.These colours are selected to be tonally equal to 50% black. Ranging from mid-gray to vibrant orange cyaan and purple/pink these colors reflect Hong Kong’s urban fabric: grey high rises and colorful, neon, commercial communication.
When they are used as backgrounds for text, black or white lettering will always be legible. Horizontal text for English and vertical text for Chinese echo the two directions of the ‘+’.
To devise a colour strategy for M+, Thonik turned first to the internal workings of the human eye, and then to the experiments of the colour theorist and Bauhaus teacher, Johannes Itten.They also brought their own innate ability to use colour to create identity, and to introduce something they call a “visual tickle”.
The new identity is vibrant in the opening campaign, effective online and well balanced on site. The museum shop features a special M+ product line.