PhDArts, 2008

visual identity for the doctorate programme PhDArts

A PhD can be seen as the showcase discipline of academic education as it comprises deep examination and high theoretical understanding. During the doctoral studies the process of research should be seen as the core of analytical elaboration. Namely because science is based on doubts, and because the answer to a question again produces new questions which in turn propel scientific research and progress.

In fact that’s why questioning the current state of knowledge has always been the driving force behind research. Research starts where answers run out and questions start to rise. According to the American artist James Lee Byars (1932–1997), the perfect thought must take the form of a question. He believed that one does not get further with answers and explanations: “Why do you demand explanations? If they are given, you will once more be facing a terminus. They cannot get you any further than you are at present.”

In contemporary media contexts visual identity must be regarded as a flexible system rather than a static logo. Different types of media (including homepage, stationery and advertisements) ask for individual design strategies. And the client consortium consisting of the Hague Royal Academy of Art (KABK) and the Leiden Academy of Creative and Performing Arts comprises visual diversity anyway. In this sense a modular design seemed mandatory for the assignment.

Each media component is given an specific design where an interrogative, art-related phrase is juxtaposed with a typographic pattern. A pattern that interacts with the question posed. A pattern, that stimulates reflection rather than gives a definite answer. And a pattern, that gives form to thoughts.

design in collaboration with: Olivier Arcioli; printing: Robstolk