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A view on the Kanaal site in Wijnegem, across the banks of the Albert Canal

Axel Vervoordt's headquarters alongside the banks of the Albert Canal in Wijnegem

© Axel Vervoordt Company

The digital portal to a unique world of art

Axel Vervoordt is an unmatched family-run Belgian company. Founded by Axel Vervoordt himself in the late 1960s in Antwerp, the family built up a strong worldwide reputation as dealers in art and antiquities.

As 2019 marks the company's 50th anniversary, the family took the time to reflect on the business and its communications. Base was tasked with creating a strategy, brand narrative, and website that reflect the company’s unique relationship with art and antiques. Our goal was to create a digital experience which communicates the Axel Vervoordt Company’s endless search for beauty and authenticity, and its timeless philosophy for living with art.

James Turrell's "Red Shift" and Anish Kapoor's "At the Edge of the World"

© Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation

The diverse and poetic world of Axel Vervoordt is best experienced physically at Kanaal, the company's current headquarters alongside the Albert Canal in Wijnegem. It is also home to the galleries and the art collection of the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation. Among many others, there are permanent installations by James Turrell, Anish Kapoor, and Tatsuo Miyajima. Kanaal is the expression of the company's spirit of openness to share experiences, knowledge, and inspiration.

Dimitri Jeurissen, Partner
Works spanning centuries and civilisations. Installation view of Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art (2007)

Works spanning centuries and civilisations. Installation view of Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art (2007)

© Jean-Pierre Gabriel

Over the course of 2018, we worked extensively with the Vervoordt company’s team in a series of collaborative workshops. The tricky part of the strategy was to remain faithful to Vervoordt’s unique vision and to find a concept that would naturally unite the Gallery and the Antiquaire worlds. Interestingly enough, the eureka moment came as we started thinking about the structure of the new website. Each department needed its own space while sharing the same home.

Gaston Lafond, Strategist & Copywriter

Pick a side. Once visitors make their choice, they are either immersed into the world of the Axel Vervoordt Gallery, or get to explore Axel Vervoordt Company's modern vision on today's antiquaire.

Thomas Byttebier, Digital Director
Screenshot of the homepage of the Axel Vervoordt Gallery website
Screenshot object detail page Axel Vervoordt website
Mobile screenshots of the axel vervoordt website

Even though both the Gallery and Antiquaire worlds exist on their own, they will always be intertwined and part of a greater whole. This is what makes Axel Vervoordt's exceptional landscape so unique. While prototyping the website, we used the analogy of a coin: you know there are two sides, you can easily switch between them, and yet you only ever see one at a time.

Thomas Leon, Creative Director

The website is set in a custom designed typeface that serves as the foundation of Axel Vervoordt's new identity. Based on Gill – the font Vervoordt used before – but more contemporary and web friendly, its design embodies serenity and balance. While the typeface appears pretty neutral at first, it still has a strong personality.

Sander Vermeulen, Design Director

The website's navigation system also features an in-between 'gray' zone. It's where visitors find general information about Axel Vervoordt as a company, not specific to the Gallery or Antiquaire practices.

The underlying vision that drives the full team at Axel Vervoordt is grounded in a passion for discovery and an endless search for beauty and quality. The company is committed to an on-going quest to uncover harmony between the past, present, and future. On the website, this story is told in twelve beautifully illustrated chapters.

Delphine Volkaert, Designer
The website is clear, poetic, concise, elegant, friendly, easy to navigate, and covers the diverse and singular landscape of Axel Vervoordt beautifully.

The website is the starting point for a new visual identity system that will be rolled out gradually over touch points in the next few weeks and months. White, black, gray.

Morgane Van Oncem, Project Manager
Base made us really think about the essence of our company and brand.