Rome: The Museum of Ahhh! 25.07.16

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  • The new identity wil help visitors to navigate Rome’s sights

  • The distinctive typography can be used across a range of applications

The eternal city is resting on its laurels, writes Vilnius-based studio New! It’s time to give it a little more direction

How is it that one of the most breathtaking cities in the world has a rather sad visual identity? We’ve heard that Rome crushes designers’ ambitions – there is so much beauty around that it’s almost useless to try and create something new. We dare to disagree – a strong identity could help us to enjoy the city with a new perspective. In addition, Rome is a hugely popular place for a city break. Even if locals shrug at our ideas, this work is aimed at people coming to the city: curious visitors, wanderers and explorers.

Rome is an open-air museum. The air is thick with history – even the shabbiest churches or most desolate monuments would be welcomed by most places as the most beautiful objects in their city. Everywhere you turn, there is something to make you give a sigh of pleasure: ‘Ahhh!’ Every church you enter is ‘grande’; every fountain your eyes rest on is ‘bellissimo’. There are so many ‘ahhhs’ that we decided to rename Rome the ‘Museum of Ahhh!’ It’s a slogan, but also a metaphor for a game you can play in the city: behind every corner there’s something waiting to be discovered.

We’ve chosen a contemporary serif font, Eksell Display Large, for the wordmark. It blends modernity with hints of ancient letterforms. This reflects Rome itself: rich in history but always moving forward to match contemporary lifestyles. The new wordmark is often displayed alongside an arrow symbol containing the slogan ‘Museum of Ahhh!’, to be used coherently across applications. This arrow highlights the directional aspect of the identity – we aim to make Rome more accessible to tourists, enabling them to discover secrets hidden across this legendary city.

We’ve chosen ‘Ahhh!’ as the slogan to communicate the joy of wandering and discovering. In addition, the concept of an interjection becomes a useful tool to highlight the expressiveness of Italian culture – emotional, passionate and always charming. After all, you are visiting a city where relaxed lunches turn into evening feasts, where history decorates every corner, where a delicious gelato has to be eaten fast before it’s consumed by the summer heat.


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‘Museum of Ahhh!’ is a slogan, but also a metaphor for a game you can play in the city: behind every corner there’s something waiting to be discovered

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