The new SCHUNCK* logo as designed by Marcel van der Heyden is an artefact that invites explanation. The very fact that the word ‘SCHUNCK’ is accompanied by an asterisk attests that schunck has something it wishes to clarify. After all, in written language, the use of an asterisk usually implies that there is further explanation to be found in the form of a footnote or a comment in the margins. Clearly, the asterisk begs first and foremost the obvious question: ‘What is SCHUNCK?’
The asterisk in the new logo also serves to highlight how SCHUNCK wishes to undertake its task as a cultural institution: SCHUNCK wishes to elucidate, to explain and above all to make tangible the complex cultural reality around us, by offering a stage for artists of different disciplines who each comment upon this cultural reality. But also to contextualise these statements and to make them comprehensible to various target groups through educational activities, publications, lectures and debates; while at the same time offering people the opportunity to take courses to help them to discover and to employ their own artistic talents.
There are still further levels of significance to be discovered behind the apparently uncomplicated facade of the new logo. The letters and the typeface that together form the word SCHUNCK in the logo are a copy of the original design from the 1930s at the time when the Glaspaleis was originally commissioned by the Schunck family as a department store. As yet, it has proved impossible to trace the exact typeface that was used, but nevertheless, it is an ideal complement to the avant-garde character of the futuristic Glaspaleis building by the architect Peutz.
In contrast, the asterisk that has now been added to the word was created by hand by the Californian urban artist Thomas Campbell (1969), a polymath who expresses his creativity in film, music and fashion. The modernist SCHUNCK typography and the urban feel of the Campbell asterisk combine to capture the substance of the new orientation of SCHUNCK perfectly. Modernity and Urban Culture are, after all, the ‘Yin and Yang’ of the new course: the determining characteristics of the artistic and cultural identity of a new type of cultural institution.