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Success has a controversial name: Bozar

How do you turn Belgium’s most prestigious cultural institution into a distinctive brand with European flair? Director Paul Dujardin drafted us to revolutionize the renowned Palais des Beaux-Arts, and boost its attendance in the process. Our challenge was to consolidate the departments under a recognizable yet flexible graphic system.

Our main challenge was to come up with a solution that accommodated Bozar’s different departments, and their evolving programming.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner

It was clear that we didn’t need one logo, but a flexible graphic system that could be appropriated by all departments and media. All sub-logos and printed items, such as the Bozar Magazine and Bozar Music’s annual catalogue, were created on the basis of this system.

Hervé Rigal, Partner

We proposed the name “Bozar,” a French word written in a Dutch way, to solve the bilingual issue. It was a controversial choice. Both French and Dutch speaking communities reacted strongly, provoking debates in the press and creating buzz in Brussels.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner

After three years, Bozar’s overall attendance had grown from 300,000 to one million people per year. Today, the change of name and identity are seen as a landmark in Belgian cultural branding.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner

One simple grid for all applications. Easy, right?

Hervé Rigal, Partner

After a couple of years, the new image became concretized enough to allow for some room to play. For the institution’s 80th birthday, we simply decided to switch the B for an 8 over the course of a year.

Arno Baudin, Design Director

BozarShop was Bozar’s bookstore. 350 sq m (3500 sq ft) and full of books, dvds, cds, and gadgets, BozarShop was the younger sibling of Bozar. So we decided to treat it that way, lightly. Every item or image was conceived quickly, almost instantaneously.

Thierry Brunfaut, Creative Director & Partner

This is the BozarShop manager. On the right. With the jeans.

Arno Baudin, Design Director

All BozarShop models are members of the Base Brussels team.

Arno Baudin, Design Director

In 2008, the branding for BozarShop won a nomination at the prestigious D&AD awards in London.

Fumi Congan, Production Director