Branding a virtual cultural institution
Torture Exposed, an online exhibit displaying artifacts from the infamous Castle of Nuremberg Torture Collection, sought out Parcel for the design of their identity and online gallery. Working in collaboration with historians and academics, the Torture Exposed mandate was to share the untold narrative of torture devices: how were they really used? What is truth and what is fiction? To communicate this fresh perspective, Parcel had to integrate a number of competing elements – macabre content and educational design.
Torture Exposed’s intention was to investigate and expose the myths of historical torture, while shedding light on the realities of present-day methods and perpetrators. Their website and digital gallery was to be thought-provoking, enlightening, and educational; this was not another iteration of a grim torture museum that sensationalizes history. We knew that the design had to reflect their core values, their mission and purpose, and so, this project presented an interesting challenge: from a design perspective, how do you re-invent a taboo subject?
Our solution was a design program that looked backward and forward, with both traditional and modern elements. We treated the online exhibition content with bright, open layouts so that it would seem more academic than sensationalist. While still prioritizing content and messaging, typographic design details helped to highlight the extraordinary providence of the artifacts and augment their compelling photography. Parcel’s design played an integral role in realizing the Torture Exposed mission: to create a digital gallery that made educational material accessible and interesting.