The Shevchenko National Prize

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The Shevchenko National Prize is the main cultural award in Ukraine. It is named after poet and painter Taras Shevchenko, who became the key figure of an awakening Ukrainian national consciousness in the 19th century. Since 1961, the prize has been awarded annually to the best works of contemporary culture in the fields of literature, journalism, cinema, theatre and visual arts. Through the distancing from the Soviet legacy, the desire arose to reshape the award’s appearance that seemed outdated today. Three elements were essential to the brand relaunch: first, a return to the significance of the cultural figure Shevchenko; second, the integration of an architectural style typical of Ukraine, the so-called Ukrainian Baroque; and third, an emphasis on the national anchoring of the prize through the integration of the Ukrainian national coat of arms. The basis for the new logo is formed by the Cyrillic initial letters of the Shevchenko Prize (Ševčenko Premija), Ш (Š) and П (P), the trident from the coat of arms, as well as arches rotated by 180 degrees, which stand for the Ukrainian Baroque. The result is a reduced but dynamic brand identity that conveys both the spirit of Shevchenko and the idea of national identity without competing with the works of the award-winning artists. Another core element of the brand identity is a multicoloured ribbon-like graphic element that is used in ever-changing colour variations. It aims to symbolise precisely the energy of Shevchenko, for which his cultural heirs are also honoured today. This ribbon functions as an extremely flexible element within the brand design, as it can be used to create ever new dynamic shapes and colour constellations that work equally well in moving images, in print media or even as an entrance ribbon to the awards ceremony. The visual language uses the technique of eclecticism: visual material is taken from the works of the awardwinning artists and overlaid with forms that do not show the artworks in their entirety, but only fleetingly reveal them. The dynamic ribbon or band winds over and seemingly through the artworks, linking everything together – the different elements and media, the various cultural spaces, past and present.

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