„Open house for everyone“, new corporate design for the Amerikahaus, Munich, 2020

The Amerikahaus in Munich is a house with history – and of great importance for the friendship between America and Germany. After the end of the Second World War, the Amerikahaus was founded by the US government in 1946. Its central task was to democratize the Germans. In Munich, the Amerikahaus quickly developed into one of the most important institutions within the reawakening cultural life. During the Cold War the tasks of the house changed. The strengthening of transatlantic relations moved more and more into focus. Concerts, exhibitions and lectures were intended to inspire the Munich public with enthusiasm for America.

The house on Karolinenplatz has been renovated for the last four years. And the corporate design was also to receive a new look. As a close neighbor in the Munich “Kunstareal” museum & art area, we happily took on the challenge. The Amerikahaus and we are not only neighbours, we are also very close in terms of enthusiasm and commitment to art and culture.

Openness and transparency through new logo

When developing the new image, it should above all be recognizable at first glance: In accordance with the democratic founding principle, the Amerikahaus will remain an open house for everyone in the future. This is the basic idea behind our further development of the logo. Drawn finer and more detailed than before, it balances the powerful word mark. In contrast to the massive and closed shape of the old picture mark, it now reflects the basic idea of openness and transparency at first glance. At the same time, it enables the Amerikahaus to be immediately perceived as a cultural brand in the art area.

50s meets 2020

Stylistic elements of the 1950s interior design of the building, such as the flamingo-coloured staircase and the turquoise tiles in the toilets, which were reworked as part of the general refurbishment, have been carefully incorporated into the visual appearance in a contemporary interpretation. Distinctive colours and contrasts are quoted and now encounter the viewer both in the building and in the graphic language. The US national colours were deliberately not used in the new appearance. For the Amerikahaus sees itself as the “House of America”, including Canada and Latin America in its topics and events.

A typeface expressing transatlantic friendship

The typeface itself also stands for the core idea of the America House: The new brand name America from Grilli Type combines stylistic elements of “American Gothic” and traditional European sans serif typefaces into a contemporary typeface family. This makes it a typographic symbol of transatlantic friendship. The consistent use of lowercase letters is also to be understood as a gesture of language connection between the American and European cultural areas.