The Goethe-Institut is named after the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
It operates worldwide as a cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, promoting German language and culture. The institute organizes reputable language courses, has over 1000 partner schools around the world, maintains 13 representative offices in Germany and 149 institutes as well as 10 information centers in 91 countries. The network consists of Goethe-Institutes, Goethe-Centers, Cultural Societies, Reading, Examination and Language Centers.
The first steps began with the curator of the exhibition Elisaveta Stancheva who made the effort to collect not only detailed information about the past 30 years but also some interesting facts and stories from past employees. Then we stepped in with a visit to the institute itself where we dived deep into its history. The mission was simple – catalog the numerous collections of posters and other materials from events, exhibitions, programs, and works promoted by Goethe-Institut and select the most meaningful ones for display.
The overall challenge was space, we had to squeeze a lot of information in a relatively small room so the plan was to structure it in different thematic categories and determine their position on the walls based on importance and chronological order:
History of the building | Timeline | Language courses | Library | Culture
Each category contains varying types of information. Mostly text accompanied by images, old photographs, books, posters and interactive features such as tablets, which let visitors interact and learn more about a subject, or some interesting items, such as a piece of a mineral named after Goethe, known as an avid mineral collector, old TVs used in numerous projects and presentations over the years and more.
The Language Courses category contained information and statistics on German language courses, which are one of the Institute’s main activities. An interactive element was also placed on the wall – a tablet through which visitors could view a presentation with additional academic information.
The Goethe-Institut library is very rich and offers a place to socialize and find a lot of new and quality literature – both educational and classical. In front of the Library dedicated wall, we placed a sofa and a small library of selected books where people could sit and read. On the wall, we glued many covers of books in which Goethe-Institut was directly or indirectly involved.
The timeline was the first thing visitors saw when they entered the hall. It presented major and interesting events that have taken place in the history of the institute, as well as personalities who contributed to its development and promotion.
The culture section is the largest category of the entire exhibition. It houses memories, stories and events related to cinema, music, exhibitions, dance and theater, supplemented by paintings, posters and other memorabilia.
To sum it all up: We had a lot of printing to do. In order to separate each category visually on the walls, we defined a main color for each one from the Goethe-Institute brand guide and kept all of its strict rules in the representation of the text content like fonts, headlines and shapes.
In addition to the exhibition visuals, we designed other materials for the event like the exhibition headline design, an A2 poster, event program and invitation, as well as chocolate packaging and a short video showing Goethe-Institut’s headquarters location throughout the years.