The Powerhouse is a contemporary Australian museum for excellence and innovation in applied arts and sciences with over 500,000 objects in its collection. At the start of 2021, the Powerhouse embarked on an ambitious exhibition and digitisation project to raise awareness of eight of the museum’s most significant 20th-century design archives. Graphic Identities featured work from Douglas Annand, Frances Burke, Dahl Collings, Alistair Morrison, Gordon Andrews, Shirley de Vocht, Pieter Huveneers and Arthur Leydin, exploring the role of visual communication in shaping contemporary Australian culture.
Mucho Creative Director Dominic Hofstede drew upon his extensive knowledge of Australian design history to act as a consultant for Graphic Identities, working closely with Senior Curator Keinton Butler and the Powerhouse exhibition team. This diverse role encompassed archival research, writing and editing, participation in related public events and designing the exhibition identity and accompanying 160 page book.
The objects displayed in the exhibition represent a wide range of disciplines and media including pre-digital commercial art and graphic design, typography, collage, illustration, printmaking and painting. A bold typographic treatment of the designer’s names reflects one of the primary aims of the exhibition, to relaunch these largely unheralded individuals into the public realm.