Honouring tradition: The artistic renaissance of Bat Trang Museum
Bat Trang Village is the center of Vietnam's ceramic heritage. The village has a history of craftsmanship that thrives for 700 years, producing delicate ceramics that reflect the nation's artistic soul. All this rich tradition is celebrated and preserved at the Bat Trang Museum.
The museum was founded by Vu Duc Thang, a pioneer in the world of ceramics, master of engraving, embossing, enameling, and glazing ceramics, blending traditional styles with contemporary philosophies. He is mostly known for his 12 astonishing pottery boots, which were certified as “The largest ceramic shoes collection in the country” by the Guinness World Record authority.
Enter M — N Associates, a creative design firm based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, specializing in transformative branding. In order to revitalize the Bat Trang Museum’s visual identity, M — N Associates were called upon to merge the community’s legendary tradition and cultural heritage with modernity.
The rebranding process was very intricate and in depth, inspired by Vu Thang's unique artistic techniques, starting with a new name. His journey and creations functioned as a focal point while the team transformed the museums’ visual language. They cataloged the diverse artworks into a clean photography style archive.
To create a distinct and relatable style, buttons and patterns were designed using a purposefully chosen clay silhouette canvas for various uses. This design strategy ensures structure and consistency throughout the visual components of the brand by adhering to a grid system that was influenced by the museum's three-part floor plan arrangement. Also, simplifying the color palette allowed the richness of ceramic glaze to shine, heightening the authenticity of each piece.
The rebranding was also accompanied by the custom typeface MN Vu Thang, ‘with “pottery-shoes-soul” inktrap touches’. M — N Associates wanted to ‘echo his process and masterpieces into the content system’.
M — N Associates was able to turn the Bat Trang Museum into a contemporary institution while highlighting and showcasing its rich history. The rebranding is an vibrant yet modern celebration of Vietnam's ceramic heritage, based on delicate balance between history and innovation.