What is contemporary art?

A three year exhibition series branded by O Street, National Galleries of Scotland’s NOW has smashed attendance projections.


‘NOW will celebrate the diversity of contemporary artistic practice, and the unique role of artists in society, who, through their work, can offer alternative ways of seeing and understanding the world around us.’ —NGS

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The Galleries came to O Street to name, brand and design marketing for the three year exhibition series. Our idea  was simple, focusing on the  immediacy  of contemporary art: NOW.

ostreet-ngs-now-2-5 ostreet-ngs-now-2-2 Tony Swain, Unpaired (2004). Photo: Antonia Reeve ostreet-ngs-now-2-6

Since all of the NOW exhibitions will take place at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art—which we also designed—the two brands would have to play nice. We came to the practical solution of working NOW into  the Modern’s typographic brand identity.

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Pete Horobin

The underline from the type marque is used as a graphic device throughout printed, digital and exhibition spaces.

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For the exhibition’s opening press shot,  we wanted to do something both creative and representative of the  subject matter. In the same vein as contemporary art being ‘of the now’, we laser-cut stencils and spray painted a massive NOW logo in front of the gallery.


photo: Peter Dibdin


photo: Peter Dibdin


photo: Peter Dibdin


photo: Peter Dibdin

It was sprayed with chalk paint, and—this being Scotland—soon washed away.  Like contemporary art, it was only of that moment.


The first NOW exhibition is on until 24 September 2017. Check it out and watch for more exhibitions.