Celebrating 267 Years of Pura Mangkunegaran with a Fresh New Visual Identity by Thinking*Room

In commemoration of the 267th anniversary of Pura Mangkunegaran, the Adeging, or celebrations beginning on March, 17 were further vivified with a fresh and elegant visual identity crafted by Thinking*Room. The celebrations took on the theme of “Amemangun Karyenak Tyas ing Sasama” meaning “Acting to Delight Fellow People”.

The relationship between Thinking*Room and the Principality of Mangkunegaran began prior to the creation of the Adeging’s visual identity but rather with the creation of the emblem for the tenth and current Adipati, or duke, Sampeyan Dalem Ingkang Jumeneng Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara X, of the principality in January 2023. The team repeatedly went back and forth to Solo to solidify their research for this endeavor. Their work didn’t stop at the Mangkunegara X emblem but also with the visual identity of Taman Pracima, the Mangkunegaran restaurant which offers a royal dining experience.

“Every year Mangkunegaran hold these celebrations called adeging,” Ritter Willy Putra, Art Director at Thinking*Room began. “Adeging is actually the anniversary of Pura Mangkunegaran, this year being the 267th. That's why they asked us to help create an identity for this occasion too that is in line with the whole identity that we have created for Mangkunegaran for Pracima,” he explained. The Thinking*Room team undertook an extensive research effort in their development of this emblem, looking at previous Mangkunegara emblems as well as the royal emblems in other Javanese, Asian, and European monarchies. They also investigated just how far you can push the visual identity of a monarchy and its various potential and opportunities. 

As such, to fully appreciate the identity created for the Adeging celebrations, one must understand the vision of the Duke that was imbued in the emblem and identity design. “He wanted Mangkunegaran to be more relevant to his era. More progressive as he is actually quite young. He wants Mangkunegaran to be progressive. He wants Mangkunegaran to be  like an IP in a way. In essence, he wants the Mangkunegaran logo to be able to not only exist within the principality, but eventually be applied to various things. But what was also important is that we must not forget that Mangkunegaran has an extensive history,” Ritter elaborated. The development process was extensive and required substantial considerations before the Thinking*Room team were able to lock the identity in as they were sensitive to the fact that they were handling a substantial legacy. 

The Adeging’s theme of “Amemangun Karyenak Tyas ing Sasama” was then extrapolated into the hope that the event would be able to present beauty to make fellow humans happy. To visualize this, the Thinking*Room team took inspiration from the fishbone cactus flower, locally known as the Wijayakusuma flower, as well as Mangkunegaran carvings.“Actually, our challenge [is] how to make a hero logo that is unlike most anniversary logos that already exist. Most anniversary logos tend to lean towards logos on maybe corporate anniversaries. So the challenge here is how to create an anniversary logo that retains its regality, its philosophical elements. So, our inspiration is the Wijayakusuma flower and the shape of the tendrils in the physical architecture of the Mangkunegaran itself, which you can see many of.” Miko Awangyudha, Graphic Designer at Thinking*Room, explained.

“So, there was a previous adipati who had a kembang setaman that belonged to Mangkunegaran, and the flower was represented by the Wijayakusuma flower. That's why actually the representation of the Wijaya Kusuma flower is also one of the ideas for Taman Pracima too. Pracima also took inspiration from that. So, here we tried to raise that again, the Wijayakusuma flower, which we combine with inspiration from patterns that we see a lot from the physicality of Mangkunegaran itself,” Ritter added.

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After many iterations, the Thinking*Room team landed on this interconnected form. The conjoined, cursive-style numbers are a clear nod to the carvings commonly found in the Mangkunegaran vicinity. The one-line stroke also connotes the theme by representing an interconnectedness between humans. When the 267 logo is implemented in the radial graphic element, its allusion to the Wijayakusuma flower as well as the insinuation of celebration is made clear.

“Our logo lock-up actually, gestalt-wise, takes the shape of the temple," Miko noted. "So actually we don't want to be too literal in describing the shape of the pavilion. We wanted it to be more subtle, so we finally installed it as a way to configure the logo,” Ritter added. However, both were quick to note that they designed the logo lock-up to be quite responsive in terms of its configuration. The main Adeging logo is then derived into four derivative logos representing the different activities held in commemoration of the celebrations. “There were the Run In Solo, Laras Hati, Sumunar Mangkunegaran, and MakaN-MakaN events,” Miko elaborated. The green and yellow color scheme also takes inspiration from the principality being the two colors of the Mangkunegaran flag. The colors have also been applied extensively as part of the existing Mangkunegaran identity like in the uniforms of the courtiers, for example. Color derivatives of the Mangkunegaran green and yellow are then instilled in the visual identity collaterals.

The Adeging Mangkunegaran ke-267 visual identity sets itself apart from the many anniversary logos we commonly see in the Indonesian corporate landscape. It being the anniversary of this constitutional monarchy that has largely been tasked with cultural cultivation and upkeep needed the Thinking*Room team to take a different approach to ensure the sense of royalty and regality is still maintained. It is an impressive visual culmination of both the anniversary and the celebration of the Mangkunegaran Principality’s long history as well as this fresh new vision of the current Duke of Mangkunegaran.

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About the Author

Kireina Masri

Kireina Masri has had her nose stuck in a book since she could remember. Majoring in Illustration, she now writes, in both English and Indonesian, of all things visual—pouring her love of the arts into the written word. She aspires to be her neighborhood's quirky cat lady in her later years.