World Wide Storefront is an exhibition presented by the Storefront for Art and Architecture that features 10 experimental cultural works located around the globe. Conceived as a kind of dispersed, deconstructed architectural survey—a grassroots alternative to large, established shows like the Venice Architecture Biennale—the exhibition aims to uncover, produce and discuss projects on a global scale from local points of view, and is designed to be primarily experienced through a portal website at www.storefront.org.
Pentagram has created a dynamic identity for the exhibition that reflects its DIY spirit. The graphics are built around a grid motif inspired by maps, as well as the idea that a screen is essentially a grid of pixels. The rigid black-and-white framework holds a riotous mix of content—photographs, drawings, infographics, maps, typography, icons and more—giving the program an open, street-like feel. The identity has been extended to the WWSf website, as well as the exhibition’s eleventh site, the Storefront gallery in New York.
The map metaphor is apt for WWSf: Selected from an open call by an international jury, the inaugural class of projects ranges from urban interventions in foreclosed ancient structures in Athens, Greece, to food market spaces in St. Paul, Minnesota, Thessaloniki, Greece, and Berlin, Germany, to the construction and inhabitation of residual spaces and infrastructures in Los Angeles, US, Toronto, Canada, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a transoceanic artist residency on commercial container carriers traveling major shipping routes.
The rigorous grid of the graphics is set off by the shifting appearance of the logo and the colorful collage of information and images. The exhibition logo utilizes the typeface Idler, an all caps, modular display face with letters that can appear in up to six layered variations, from an inline version to shaded weights that look dimensional. The modular logo incorporates the existing Storefront identity, set in Helvetica.
A fluid extension of the identity and exhibition, the WWSf website presents a map of the world, with each project represented by a pin icon. Hovering over a pin expands the icon to reveal the project title and a link to its page, where visitors can find an in-depth description, a blog by the participant, a 360-degree view, video and a curated Soundcloud playlist.
While the website is the main platform for viewing the selected works, the Storefront gallery at 97 Kenmare Street is designed as an exhibition headquarters. Visitors are able to access the projects through augmented reality applications as well as the website, presented on iPads.
A newsprint leaflet serves as a printed exhibition catalogue, providing basic information and directing visitors to the digital content online. The handout unfolds to reveal a poster of collaged images from the WWSf projects, with the colored map pin icons keyed to the corresponding photographs or renderings.
The Storefront gallery features a site-specific installation by artist Jana Winderen and architect Marc Fornes that is visible through a series of folding panels in the façade. The designers applied the modular identity to the exterior, integrating the graphics with the panels. The designers also developed branded items that disperse the identity to the locations worldwide, including Plexiglas stencils that can be used to spray-paint the identity on boxes for shipping and rolls of packing tape that feature the logo. Flags are displayed at the various sites, and the designers shared digital assets with the exhibitors so they could further deploy the identity in any way they see fit.