• Transform magazine
  • January 27, 2023


Brand in action: Spyscape

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Uncovering an undercover world

Who: Spyscape and SomeOne

What: From December 2017, midtown Manhattan will be the new home of Spyscape. The 60,000 sq ft museum, whose seven bespoke pavilions are themed around different espionage-based tropes, aims to expose visitors to the murky world of spies and undercover operations. It is no ordinary museum, however – unique exhibitions, immersive storytelling and tailored trails will combine to ensure no two visitors’ experience is the same. Unique in outlook among its competitors, the visual identity, strategy, wayfinding and typeface for Spyscape have been developed by international design agency SomeOne.

How: Led by the strapline, ‘Question everything,’ SomeOne has replicated the aesthetic and environment of espionage. Relying on storytelling to guide the visitor journey from one pavilion to the next, the architectural language of the museum space takes visual cues from some of the world’s most well-known security intelligence-based organisations – think MI5 or the CIA. Yet, even on a smaller scale, SomeOne has ensured the experience remains consistent throughout. “The typeface is unusual as it consists of three cuts that can be connected,” says Emily James, project lead designer at SomeOne. “Two ‘redacted’ cuts show only part of the letterform, but often enough to distinguish what character it is. The third cut is a complete letterform that can either be used to hint at the remaining stroke, or used in its entirety for total clarity.”

Why: Heritage-based experiences, specifically museums, remain a key part of any city’s cultural offering, but recent demand has been for more immersive experiences. “This is a brand that is tackling one of the greatest topics of our time – privacy,” says Simon Manchipp, founder of SomeOne. “Spyscape’s approach is both erudite and entertaining. The new branding to helps manage its reputation and stimulate curiosity in the audience. It will show audiences how spy skills, which we all have, are transferable to your everyday life.”

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