Van Zoetendaal Publishers

June 28, 2013

Open mouth


The EYE film institute is one of the most elegant and striking buildings in Amsterdam, designed by the Viennese bureau Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. The building itself reminds me of an enormous futuristic yacht or a sperm whale, with its white skin reflecting the sunlight across the water. The building lies on the northern side of the IJ, currently a lake but previously an estuary, opposite Amsterdam Central Station.

I was shocked to notice that the film institute had had its logo painted on the exterior, instantly transforming the building’s appearance into that of a small ship with a wide-open mouth – the only thing missing is an anchor. The film institute had already made the disastrous choice to call itself the EYE film institute – as if there weren’t enough institutes in the world bearing the same cliché of a name. Advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy is responsible for the third-rate house style, which resembles the excretions of a provincial tourist office. The logo is meant to represent an eye but looks more like a mouth that has stayed open too long. The typography on the print work and especially the posters is unashamedly cheap. It continues shock me to have to observe once more that the world of film and those responsible apparently have little idea of collaboration with disciplines other than designers, and that (certainly when it comes to taste) they overrate themselves immensely.