Nexus Arts — Branding
Nexus Arts — Branding
Dan Vaughan

Nexus Arts is an arts centre that supports culturally diverse artists and communities. Working with Chris Martin, we completely designed a new identity and brand system for Nexus Arts.

Nexus Arts, formerly ‘Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre’, offers a diverse range of programming; from visual arts and live music, to indigenous community and artist development projects. Nexus had no consistent system or language for communicating this to their audience. Additionally, the use of ‘multicultural’ in their name had gained unwanted stereotypical connotations, and was no longer accurately reflecting the work that Nexus does.

We started by changing ‘Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre’ to simply ‘Nexus Arts’, providing a more contemporary and encompassing name. We then categorised Nexus’ programming into easily identifiable areas: Gallery (visual arts), Live (music and performance), and Create (community development projects), using a structure that allows for more categories to be added over time.

In constructing the new brand, we were drawn to tangrams — ancient Chinese puzzles that contain a set of shapes that can be rearranged in lots of different ways. We used the tangram’s shapes and rules to develop a grid that could be applied to all of Nexus’ communications, with custom rules and requirements in place for the family of categories. For example; Live materials feature boldly coloured shapes that support the character of the artist, whilst Gallery materials employ subtle outlines of shapes that sit behind artist images, allowing the work to take visual precedence.

The result was a system that provides tools to present different kinds of programming in unique ways, while still clearly belonging to the Nexus Arts family.