Mathaf Design & Branding MATHAF by Wolff Olins


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Industry Museums & Libraries
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Wolff Olins
Creative Director Frank Mueller
Designer Vance Wellenstein, Jp Chirdon, Gary Fogelson, Mary Choueiter
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Charities & Not For Profit
Advertiser: MATHAF
Product/Service: MUSEUM
Date of First Appearance: Dec 30 2010
Entrant Company: WOLFF OLINS, New York , USA
Entry URL:
Creative Director: Frank Mueller (Wolff Olins)
Design Director & Illustrator: Tiziana Haug (Wolff Olins)
Designer: JP Chirdon (Wolff Olins)
Designer: Gary Fogelson (Wolff Olins)
Designer: Mary Choueiter (Wolff Olins)
Designer: Vance Wellenstein (Wolff Olins)
Production Director: Beth Kovalsky (Wolff Olins)
Production Manager: Kristopher Pelletier (Wolff Olins)
Head of Strategy: Paul Worthington (Wolff Olins)
Senior Strategist: Jean-Yves Minet (Wolff Olins)
Senior Strategist - Digital: Jacob Cohen (Wolff Olins)
Account Director: Melissa Bamber (Wolff Olins)
Account Director: Courtney Somer (Wolff Olins)
Account Co-ordinator: Leigh Zimmerman (Wolff Olins)
Type Designer: Pascal Zoghbi (Pascal Zoghbi)
Type Designer: Tarek Atrissi (Tarek Atrissi Design)
Website: LBi Dubai (LBi Dubai)
Media placement: Website - Online - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Building Facade Signage - Facade Of Mathaf, Street - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Directional Signage - Interior Of Mathaf - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Shopping Bags - Mathaf Museum Store - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Mathaf Embossing Seal - Mathaf Museum Staff - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Mathaf Cafe - Interior Of Mathaf - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Mathaf Business Cards - Stationery - 30 December 2010 To Present
Media placement: Mathaf Installation - Illustration On Installer Tee Shirts - 30 December 2010 To Present

Describe the brief from the client
When the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and the Qatar Foundation (QF) partnered to adopt His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani’s private collection of over 6,000 pieces of Modern and Contemporary Arab art, their objective was to build an institution that would instigate an Arab art movement in the world. To become the leading voice on Arab Modern and Contemporary art in the region and beyond, facilitating interest and dialogue about Arab Art between artists, scholars and the general public.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
We partnered with the QMA and QF to help build the entire brand for the Museum. We took a deep dive into the growing world of arts in the Arab world, met with artists, scholars and art enthusiasts from the region, and mapped out the international competitive set. Based on these insights we developed the brand idea “Ideas Welcome” where art is inspired by ideas and ideas are inspired by art. The ambition was to create a digital museum with a physical space, where people can engage with art beyond the physical space in Doha, Qatar.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We worked with poets, artists, and culture experts to create the new brand identity, the new name Mathaf (Museum in Arabic), and two typefaces both in Arabic and English. We designed the digital experience including website architecture, wireframes and layout. We worked closely with the architect to craft a holistic museum experience. We produced thought-provoking items for the museum gift shop and created a range of marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Mathaf opened on December 30, 2010. As of February 2011, the museum already had 2,000 fans on Facebook and strong interest from the region. H.E. Sheikha Mayassa complimented us for having built such a strategically considered and cohesively delivered brand: “I believe the arts and Mathaf have a role to play in building a new identity for Qatar, but one that’s rooted in tradition.”