The Book of Kells Experience

by Pentagram

Trinity College approached Pentagram to design an identity for the new Book of Kells experience. The College was looking for something that felt contemporary and cool, that would attract visitors and set the tone for the experience but that would avoid a cliched Celtic design. In addition, as this is a religious artefact, Pentagram needed to be sensitive to how the different audiences would be viewing both the book and the experience.

With this in mind, the design team created an identity which is bold, modern but that still feels authentic. Inspired by Celtic history, the new identity includes a logo, typeface, colour palette, tone of voice, staff clothing, merchandise, marketing material, signage and wayfinding.

The striking symbol represents the Book of Kells itself, a bold, impactful presence with elegant details. It was inspired by the details of illuminated pages in the book and more broadly by ancient Celtic artefacts that showcase the craftsmanship of flowing line details.

The wordmark is set in lowercase using the typeface Rand by Optimo and is crafted with alignment points to create a considered arrangement that echoes the simple but elegant structure of type within the Book of Kells itself. Rand combines type characters that have modern forms like the letter ‘a’, with more unique characters like the letter ‘t’. These are similar to the crafted scriptures in the Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells Experience colour palette is inspired by the colours found in the book’s illuminated details, this is joined by the core colour palette of black and white, and a bright red which echoes the red Pavilion that the experience is housed in.

The tone of voice and campaign copy developed by Pentagram’s Brand Narrative team, led by Ashley Johnson, aims to tell the story of the experience from the point of view of a visitor, with each strapline relating to a unique part of the Book of Kells Experience.

The new identity appears across all the on- and offline applications, including the social assets, website, ticketing, signage, wayfinding, staff clothing, and brand guidelines.

Pentagram has created an identity that clearly communicates the excitement of the new Book of Kells experience that—like the experience itself—seamlessly blends traditional and modern, while helping visitors continue to enjoy Ireland's greatest cultural treasure.

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