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caaa centro para os assuntos da arte e arquitectura

Major Project report

Maria Margarida Almeida Ma graphic branding and identity London College of Communication university of the arts 2010


Introduction Objectives, 15 What are the objectives of this project

Statement of Intent, 16 What are my intentions in doing this project and why I chose it as my major project

Research Question, 16 My questions

Field of Study, 17 The research area and methodology

Process Understanding, 20 What is the CAAA

Researching, 30 What is out there

Creating, 38 The visual identity

Bringing to life, 54 The output

Conclusion, 60 The answers

Critical reflection, 62

My reflection on the project

References, 64

Books, magazines, internet, illustrations


A good identity is more than a logo, it’s an entire language, an expression of story, spoken through 2D, 3D and 4D forms. A good identity has the power to completely influence you. Domenico Bartolo



Introduction - objectives

To create a corporate identity for CAAA (both visual and verbal communications) which will communicate its purposes and promote its services. To develop the brand “CAAA” and communicate its essence to the citizens, visitors, partners and possible investors. The identity must positively position CAAA as the number one centre of arts in Portugal to approach such diversity of areas of artistic expression. To create a communication strategy which achieves the following: Visual definition of CAAA’s corporate personality and values, to encapsulate all services and areas, communicating a clear proposition for the organisation as a whole; Creation of a detailed visual language to communicate each of the specific areas - EAAA, AAAA, LAAA, GAAA, RAAA, VAAA, OAAA. Make all the different areas distinct from each other, but communicate them as sections of a whole entity. Communicate key attributes of the CAAA and its activities with clarity and coherence and make the visual identity clear and effective, with a solid base so it can grow and evolve.


Introduction - Statement of intent

This is a real project that was proposed to me by NAAA - Neiva e Areias Arquitectos Associados - an architecture company based in Guimarães, Portugal. By the end of 2009 they contacted me and told me about the CAAA - Centro para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura - project. They asked me to do its graphic identity. The main reason for choosing this proposal as my MA final project is that it is a graphic branding and identity project and personally this is my major area of interest. Professionally this project was very important to me because during its development I went through every stage of creating an identity. I learned and applied methods of research and methods of design. My intention with this project is to make a clear communication of CAAA’s intentions, values and services through its identity. In the future I will continue this project, collaborating with the CAAA during its launch campaign (January 2012).

Introduction - research questions

What is the brand experience for citizens, visitors and artists of an art centre in Guimarães, with a concept never before experienced in Portugal? How to brand an art centre with so many different areas?


Introduction - field of study

The field of study in which I focused my research was in the area of branding and identity of art centres and how they operate and promote themselves. Analyzing the city where the centre is to be situated was also part of my research. It was important to understand what the city offers at the moment and spot the main audience of CAAA. The CAAA itself was also an important part of my research, as I had to understand its complexity - as it will have different areas operating inside - so the identity could reflect its essence.

Research into design The exploration and experimentation of form, typography, composition, colour, among others, was taken in consideration during my design process. Research about design Research and study of identities of art centres - styles, approaches, models.


process - understanding

The CAAA, Centro para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Centre for Arts and Architecture Affairs) is to be situated in Guimarães, Portugal, and aims to support, spread and encourage the creation and application of new methods of production in several areas of artistic expression – visual arts, architecture, design, cinema, literature, multimedia, and performing arts – and be part of the cultural network that will support Guimarães as the European Capital of Culture in 2012. CAAA ensures technical and physical support to the artists who will make use of the various available spaces according to their needs. CAAA wants to generate discussion and collaboration between different artistic and technological platforms not only through the sharing of a physical space but also through the involvement in the cultural programming. CAAA is a new channel of access to contemporary art, exploring a new curatorial practice with the assistance of several consultants, curators, and invited art directors. CAAA aims to reach a place of importance in the local, national and international artistic panorama, through the implementation of new methods of institutional cooperation.

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These were the first conclusions taken from the first meeting with the client. Immediately, I got the clear idea that this centre was to become a space of creation and collaboration between different areas. A space not only for artists and other people involved in the arts sector, but also a place that will offer cultural programming to the citizens and visitors. The fact that the CAAA will “be born” along with the European Capital of Culture (CEC) in 2012, Guimarães, is of great importance. Firstly because it can gain recognition outside the city and the country, and secondly because its initial campaign will be done along with CEC 2012. Also in this first meeting I was informed that seven different areas would operate inside CAAA: RAAA - Residência para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Residence); EAAA - Estúdios para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Studios); OAAA - Oficinas para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Ateliers); GAAA- Galerias para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Galleries); VAAA - Veículo para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Vehicle); AAAA - Arquivo para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura (Archive); LAAA - Loja para os Assuntos da Arte e Aqruitectura (Store).

process - understanding

These are the areas, sectors, that together will form CAAA. I had analyzed each of them, and understood how they will function and what they will offer. RAAA It provides space for housing and production facilities for artists - as professionals or in the training process, national or international - in a period of time that can go up to one year, depending on the type of work to be developed. RAAA has as its main objectives the mobility and interchange between artists and architects, the experimentation of new concepts and techniques, the confrontation with other cultural realities and the formation and development of a project. RAAA is based in a trading principle: in exchange for accommodation and working space provided, it is required that the artist and/or architect develops and produces material to be exhibited, published or broadcasted, applied in workshops or round tables to be held in the CAAA premises. EAAA Places of work, creation and rehearsal to be occupied by residents of RAAA as well as the outside artistic community. EAAA work as a starting point for new business related with artistic innovation, creation and development of new methods and work practices. EAAA are based in the same trade principle as the RAAA in what relates to residents, but availability of spaces to the external community will be provided through a fee to be defined.

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process - understanding

OAAA Fully equipped experimental laboratories that are available to both the residents of RAAA and the outside artistic community. OAAA promote the artistic practice related with technologic innovation, inviting the artist and/or architect to venture in new experimentation and investigation fields or development of new applications. OAAA are based in the same trade principle as the RAAA and the EAAA in what relates to residents, but availability of spaces to the external community will be provided through a fee to be defined. GAAA GAAA comprise two galleries and a performances room for exhibition of the works created by the artists, being them solo or collective. The GAAA wish to make the direct bridge between artist and general public. The gallery #1, besides representing and exhibit resident or external artists, has a commercial scope oriented towards the contemporary art market. The performances room and gallery #2 will be available to the artistic community for production of events, performances, concerts, exhibitions, among other, with schedule and fees to be determined. VAAA Main mechanism for communication with the outside world in the form of a website, blog, periodical magazine, catalogue and a publisher. VAAA online will be the most updated communication platform, used for marketing purposes, cultural programming presentation,

process - understanding

holding a database with portfolios of the artists involved in the CAAA activities, among others. The website will contain all the institutional information about the mission, history, services, infrastructures and contacts for the Centre. The periodical publication encloses all the information related to works developed and promoted in the CAAA, opinion articles according to selected themes, broadcasting of research papers and innovating essays and future cultural programming. The publisher will focus on production and publication of catalogues of exhibitions, thematic editions, research thesis and artist monographies. The activity and maintenance of VAAA will be the responsibility of the editorial team and external contributions either national or international. The VAAA will be supported by institutional sponsorships and internal budget specifically allocated. AAAA Freely accessible to all residents of CAAA. The public can access the Archive, but it requires a previous registration. AAAA is where all the physical volumes and digital files of existing publications are located, registries relatives to artists involved with the CAAA and exhibitions, activities and interventions produced in the premises for the use of general public or researchers. The archive will be constructed through acquisition of specific collections and will count with an annual budget from CAAA and institutional sponsorships. The CAAA residents will have to complement the archive by means of donations or recommendations.

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LAAA It is divided in two spaces, a shop and a café-concert, which will operate new business concepts. LAAA is destined to show and sell products related with all the artistic disciplines, produced in the CAAA or by external artists that wish to commercialize their products. It will also be a place to commercialize the VAAA publications and other volumes. The café-concert, with access by the general public, will promote small scale cultural events, such as performances, concerts and readings. The programming of the café-concert and management of the store will be done by the CAAA and will be one of the income generator for the CAAA. The management of these infrastructures may be given to external entities.

process - understanding

After another meeting with the client I was able to gather more information and conclude the following: The CAAA’s main audience will be artists who seek to develop, exhibit or find support for their work, through studios, agreements with international institutions and scholarships. It’s also part of the future plans of CAAA to support art and architecture students who are finishing their degree and are looking for support regarding working in Portugal or in another country. CAAA also welcomes anyone who is interested in arts. A list of key attributes and key issues was made: Key Attributes Artist as curator Cinema studio Chroma studio “Black box“ for theatre company and screenings of independent cinema Digital laboratory Wide range of areas of artistic expressions Seven different areas to promote and support the arts Motivation Professionalism New Positive Innovation

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Key Issues Location can be an issue when the CEC2012 (Cultural European Capital) ends; Space limitations for the needs; Coordination of programming between the different artists and entities; Promotion among the general public and patrons; Maintaining all partners belonging to the structure but with an individual identity. A Brand Proposal1 was written and presented to the client, who made only small adjustments. The client has never impose any restrictions about the design of the identity, I was given the freedom to create and design.

1 Appendix A

process - researching

During the summer break I went to Portugal and stayed in Guimarães for some days. During this period I was able to work in my project at the architecture company NAAA office. This was an advantage, as I could work on the designs and be able to discuss it with the client immediately. Small doubts and questions about the CAAA could be answered at the moment. As CAAA is only due to open in 2012, there are still some aspects that remain uncertain, and I was able to attend meetings with CAAA’s founders where these details were discussed. This collaboration and close interaction with the client was an important factor for my better understanding of the CAAA. One of the most important things is the physical space the centre will occupy. Guimarães is a city known in Portugal for having, more in the past than nowadays, a relative big amount of factories producing textiles. The building where the CAAA is to be situated is one of these old factories. It’s a heavy, partly made-of-stone building, with evident characteristics, like the curves on the top and the grid of the windows. The building will be painted black on the outside. 2

2 Research Summary pages 10-12

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Fig. 1

Fig. 2

process - researching

As part of my initial research, and after having a clear idea of the structure of CAAA, its location and its physical space, I started by analyzing the city (Guimarães) in terms of what it currently offers in the cultural and educational areas. This research helped me to get a general idea about the position CAAA will occupy and what it can bring to the city. In terms of education, Guimarães is positioned in a quite good level. It offers a wide range of courses in the arts and architecture areas. So students might be potential users of the CAAA. There are small galleries, museums, theatres and other cultural spaces, and citizens are used to having a cultural programming. Centro Cultural Vila Flor is currently the biggest and most wellknown cultural centre in the city and its surroundings. It offers a wide range of programming, like music concerts, theatre, exhibitions, cinema, workshops, dance, among others. But CAAA differs from all these other institutions. What it has to offer is new to the city and is open to the world. It’s a place of creation, exploration, investigation, mobility and interchange, where all these concepts connect and converge into a bigger concept that is the CAAA.

Cultural Associations Education Places offering cultural programming CAAA

Guimarães Municipality, Portugal 162.500 inhabitants

Architecture department of the University of Minho MA in architecture

Guimarães Castle Museum

College of Arts Porto-Guimarães BA in design BA in illustration BA in multimedia MA in illustration MA in digital animation

Paço dos Duques de Bragança Museum, Galley

Municipal Library “Raúl Brandão“ Municipal Archive “Alfredo Pimenta“

Guimarães’ Cineclub Museum of Modern Primitive Art

Cultural and Recreational Association Casa da Memória Museum / Gallery

Alberto Sampaio Museum

Municipal Market Studios / Galleries Martins Sarmento Society Museum / Gallery

Lab. das artes

Gallery Gallery

S. Mamede Centre of Arts and Performances

Musical Association of Guimarães

Centre of Technological Specialization Hostel

Institute of Applied Design

Ciência Viva Centre

Cybercentre Jordão Theatre 1220 seats Studios Blackbox/ Cinema studio - 130 seats 3 galleries Bar

Fig. 3

Vila Flor Cultural Centre Exhibition centre 2 auditoriums - 1000 seats Meeting room Restaurant / cafe-concert

process - researching

The next step I took was to research similar art centres around the world, analyze their visual identity and how they communicate with their audience. These are just some examples of art centres, as I have decided to

AAR(ie)L Art and Architecture Research Lab Columbia University

research only a few in different countries around the world. Rote Fabrik, situated in Zurich, is the largest independent cultural centre in Switzerland. It offers a wide range of different activities, has the concept of artists in residence and it is open to the public with a variety of cultural programming. Its main communication is done via their website and through street posters. The posters, designed by Sven Hausherr can be easily identified as they all, despite being all different in terms of colours and grid, communicate in the same visual language: a photograph of the artist, or one related to what is being announced, and all the information displayed in layers, using big type and the logo is never in the same position, but always arranged with the rest of the information. This visual language helped me realize the importance of clear and efficient communication. Other centres, including venues and cultural centres in Portugal, were analyzed. 3

3 Research Summary pages 14-21

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Le Cent Quatre 798 Space Gasworks




LX Factory

Matadero Madrid Rote Fabrik

Fig. 4


process - creating

Before I start making sketches for the identity, I put together in a diagram all the areas of the CAAA.

CAAA RAAA housing production facilities interchange work in progress

LAAA shop cafĂŠ-concert


EAAA rehearsal work creation artistic innovation

new applications experimentation OAAA investigation

physical volumes digital files

web publisher


exhibitions concerts performances


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After analyzing it, I realized that the CAAA could be seen as this whole made of parts. A unit composed by seven parts - the number of the areas inside CAAA. So my starting point was to think about the circle as representation of the CAAA. Immediately I thought about an heptagon, a polygon made of equal seven sides and seven angles. This was my starting point to develop the identity.

process - creating

I began by decomposing the heptagon, leaving just the seven sides. Each of the sides would represent an area of the CAAA.

The next step to take was to connect these bars with the name of each area. At this point, the choice of the typeface was not taken into consideration yet. Different arrangements were tested.

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process - creating

Then, all the bars were combined into a single symbol and making this the logo for CAAA.

After these first designs, another proposal was developed. It was based on the structure of the building and on typography. 4 In the first tutorial I had to discuss the designs, I was advised by my tutor and decided not to take further that second proposal, as it was not solid and strong enough to be developed. The decision was that the first proposal was the one to be developed, taking into consideration that the main logo (all the bars together) would have to be rethought.

4 Research Summary pages 22-23

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The idea of having all the bars overlapped to form the main logo didn’t please me and one of the options was to simply apply a straight line to the name.

I also developed the design into a single line connecting the name of the centre “CAAA� to the name of each area.5

5 Research Summary pages 28-29

process - creating

I presented these proposals at the first pin-up critic, and was recommended to: Forget the logo of the single bar connecting “CAAA” and the area, and to go forward developing the design of the bars with the different diagonals taken from an heptagon; Change the typeface; For each area drop off the “AAA” and use just the first letter. At this point I realized that it all was looking too corporative and not at all like an art centre situated in Portugal. I needed to give the brand a sense of location and transmit what the CAAA is about: art, architecture and cultural programming, and a space of creation and exploration. Looking at typefaces made by Portuguese designers was a way I found to establish this connection between the identity and the position of the centre. After analysing some different typefaces6 I chose one designed by the designer Feliciano (Feliciano Type Faoundry). It’s a capitalonly typeface and it has resemblances of old typeface used in Portugal for signage of cinemas, bookstores, and several other places related to art and culture.7

Morgan Poster Avec Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz 1234567890

6 Research Summary pages 32-34 7 Research Summary page 35

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Fig. 5

Fig. 6

process - creating

After the first pin-up critic I continued developing the designs. The first idea of using the seven different bars to represent each of the areas was the one to follow. One of the advices given to me by one of the tutors was to “be bolder�. Make the bars stronger, use a strong font, make a statement. After some sketches8 the logos for the seven areas were created.

8 Research Summary pages 36-37

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process - creating

Since the beginning of the project I had the idea of using different colours for each area. So the seven logos would differentiate from each other through the diagonal of the bar, the colour of the bar, and the letter on top of the bar. The choice of the colour was based in the colours of the Portuguese landscape (except the RAAA, where the red was taken from the Portuguese flag). The colour given to each area doesn’t have any particular reason. It was done arbitrarily.

RAAA - Red from the flag EAAA - Blue from the sky OAAA - from the sand GAAA - Green from the mountains VAAA - Yellow from the sun AAAA - Orange from the tiles of the roofs LAAA - from the south beaches sea

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process - creating

At this point I had the design of the seven logos finished but I was still uncertain about how to use all the bars to create the main logo, the CAAA logo. Some overlapping was again tested, but still I wasn’t satisfied with the results.9

The idea for the main logo came after looking at all the bars together. “This could be the main logo. It’s a graphic language”. All the logos of each area together forming a main logo, almost like words forming a sentence.

9 Research Summary pages 38-39

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centro para os assuntos da arte e arquitectura

Then, the letters of the name were positioned over the bars (like the letters in each of the seven areas logos). Three versions of the logo can be used: 1. The seven bars 2. The seven bars with the abbreviation “CAAA” 3. The seven bars with the abbreviation “CAAA” and the full form “Centro para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura”.

process - bringing to life

By then I as able to clearly define the CAAA’s brand. Brand Essence Art for all. This reflects CAAA’s willing to be open to everyone, from people who are interested in art and architecture and want to use the premises to develop personal work to citizens and visitors who simply want to visit the centre for its cultural programming. Brand Proposition An art and architecture centre opened to everyone and offering a wide range of services for artists and art and architecture students and cultural programming for citizens and visitors. Brand Experience For citizens - CAAA will offer the city of Guimarães a new dynamic and a new way of seeing the arts. For artists - CAAA will provide space for exploration and creation, for interaction and the use new methods of production. For visitors - CAAA will offer cultural programming and recent projects of Portuguese contemporary art. Brand Attributes Motivation, Professionalism, Innovation. Leading the CAAA will be a team of young enthusiasts, all from different backgrounds, and all willing to make this centre stand out and make it become recognizable in Portugal and hopefully in a near future known worldwide.

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Once the logos were finalized it was time to give life to the visual identity. The output I designed for this project is also what I will present to the client as the proposal for the identity - a sample campaign for the CAAA. This output consists of: a poster with the guidelines, a set of seven promotional posters (one poster for each area of the CAAA), a booklet with the designs of the application of the coloured bars outside and inside the building, a booklet of tickets for exhibitions, concerts or other events, a flipbook where the birth of the logo is illustrated, and a sticker book containing stickers with the seven different bars. Guidelines Poster (Folded) This poster is a guide to the usage of the logo and the visual identity. It contains the three main logo versions, the seven logos of the areas, the typefaces, the colours, and rules - minimum size and exclusion zone - for the usage of the main logo. Set of Promotional Posters (Folded) These seven posters are composed by the logo of each area. The intention is that these posters will be used during the promotional campaign of the CAAA. Instead of being placed against a wall, because they are double-sided, the posters are meant to be hanged from the ceiling so both sides can be seen. The initial idea was for them to be printed in A3 size in tracing paper so that the other side could always be revealed and the path of the bars could

process - bringing to life

always be seen (even if hanged against a wall) but I wasn’t able to do this kind of printing. I printed prototypes in A4 (tracing paper) and the bigger version (A3) in white paper. Building Booklet This is a proposal for the design of the façades as well as the inside (floor and walls) of the building. The idea is to visually connect the building with the centre’s identity. As the building is going to be black, the colour of the bars will give a strong contrast that will make it stand out and be easily identified as the CAAA’s building. In the inside, each area has its correspondent colour bar on the floor and in some cases on the wall as well. For example, the red bar will be in the residence areas, the green in the galleries, and so on. This serves not only as a guide to know which space is what but also, like the façades, to give identity to the building. Tickets Booklet This is a set of tickets in different colours that can be used for exhibitions, concerts, and other events. The different colours can be attributed to a different kind of ticket.

Flipbook This flipbook represents the birth of the logos, the main one and the seven of each area. It shows the heptagon from which the logos were created, the movement of the bars and the colour palette.

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The movement of the pages gives the visual perception of continuity and connection between the bars, and this is what CAAA is about: connection between parts making it a whole. Sticker Book This small book contains stickers with the seven different bars. They can be used for internal organisation of documents. Instead of creating different heading for the documents of each area, the stickers can simply be sticked in documents, folders or any other physical support.


Question What is the brand experience for citizens, visitors and artists of an art centre in GuimarĂŁes, with a concept never before experienced in Portugal? Answer The CAAA will bring to the city of GuimarĂŁes a new way of approaching the arts. For the citizens the CAAA will offer not only cultural programming but also spaces like the LAAA (store and cafĂŠ) and the AAAA (the archive that can be used by anyone who seeks information about architecture and art). The centre will be seen not only as a place of knowledge but also a place where family time can be spent. For the artists and students, the centre will be seen as support for their careers and a place where they can find resources and guidance. As for the visitors, the CAAA will be a memorable place, firstly because visually will be a remarkable place due to the characteristics of the building (black with coloured bars) and secondly for its content of Portuguese contemporary art.

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Question How to brand an art centre with so many different areas? Answer The solution for this question is in the concept of the identity, in the way the logos were created - all born from a heptagon. The combination of colour, form and typeface made all the areas distinct from each other. The main logo transmits the sense of diversity, as it combines all the bars with different colours and diagonals.

I believe the visual identity of the CAAA will highlight it from the rest of the cultural places in the city, conquer a recognizable position in Portugal that will be experienced in a new and fulfilling way.

critical reflection

This was a project that I embraced with great pleasure from the beginning and never, at any moment, did I feel lost, frustrated or blocked. All the process has flowed and evolved in a concise and clear way. From the start, my aim was to understand how the CAAA would work and build its identity in a way that its essence could be experienced by everyone - artists, citizens and visitors. I believe I was able to achieve the objectives proposed and answer my research questions.

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Books Building Strong Brands, Aaker, David A. New York: Free Press, 1996 C/id: Visual Identity and Branding for the Arts, edited and designed by Angus Hyland, text and interviews by Emily King, London: Laurence King, 2006 International corporate identity 2, edited by Evolution Graphics, Tokyo: Robundo, c1992 Graphics explained: 7 top designers, 7 briefs, 49 solutions - in their own words, Evamy, Michael. Mies: RotoVision, c2009. Type specific : designing custom fonts for function and identity, Rivers, Charlotte. Mies: RotoVision, c2005 1000 fonts, Gordon, Bob. Lewes: Ilex, 2009

Magazines IdN Volume 17 no.1, 2010, The Branding Issue: Brand Everything Graphic #13 Visual Identity Issue

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Lisf of Illustrations p31 Figs 1-2. CAAA’s bulding Source: Own. p33 Fig 3. Guimarães Municipality Map Source: GoogleMaps. p35 Fig 4. Art Centres around the World Source: Own. p45 Figs 5-6. Portuguese signage Source:

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Major Project Report

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