Discover the organic evolution of End of the Road Festival’s otherworldly identity
The alternative event prioritises a collaborative creative approach that takes cues from the location, acts, team and stories of the festival.
- Olivia Hingley
- 19 June 2023
Since 2006, End of the Road Festival has been a haven for music lovers, nestled away in Wiltshire’s Larmer Tree Gardens with a well-known visual look that nods to its leafy location and a strong illustrative aesthetic. In recent years, the creative team have been spearheading a new design direction that organically synthesises with its previous look, while providing new opportunities for discovery and wonder.
One of the core ideas throughout the evolution of the festival’s identity is “expressive neutrality”. The concept “of things being uniform and almost ‘perfect’ but always showing a playful, human side at the same time”, explains designer Kevin Summers of Process Play. Kevin first worked on the festival’s design in 2009, when he designed the festival programme. Since then, he has worked closely alongside the illustrator Kai to bring the festival to life.
In 2021, Process Play was commissioned to create a whole new identity for the festival across all manner of applications – announcements, merch, album art, posters, wristbands, tickets, social media graphics and more. The goal for the identity was, as Kevin explains, to “push forwards their visual direction now and into the future”.
Kevin has always been keen to maintain an “organic flow” with the look of the festival, avoiding the feeling of it being “overworked” or “like the agency had been in”. One of the key aspects of Kevin’s work is to underpin the festival with a typography foundation, as part of a “fun, functional and ownable graphic language”. Throughout, you’ll find a consistent typeface that echoes a hand-scrawled style – mixing up capitals with lowercase script. This is finished with a palette of warm, earthy and woodland-inspired colours, combined with brighter tones to “create a colour system that is joyful and curious with a nod to mid-century bookishness”, Kevin says.
Founder of End of The Road Simom Taffe explains that inspiration for the overall visual look often comes from the festival itself. Each year the artists on the music programme heavily informs the festival’s overall style, and illustrator Kai (who’s worked on the festival since its very beginnings in 2006) often goes into “so much detail” with his black-line illustrations, with the characters on the artwork often being based on the team behind the festival, or random anecdotes from previous years.
With illustration being so central to the festival’s core aesthetic, Kevin has always been intent on building a design system that synthesises with Kai’s black-line work illustrations. This is an area that Simon is particularly impressed with. “Kevin’s eye for the overall visual identity compliments the illustrations in this perfectly symbiotic way where everything feels like it’s come full circle in a very natural and progressive way,” he says, “everything now feels so cohesive”.
For Kevin, being so closely involved in creating such a playful identity for a festival he “greatly admires” has been a unique experience, one made even better when the festival finally comes around. “It’s always a treat seeing End of the Roaders enjoying the design in person, over the festival weekend itself – whether that’s proudly wearing their festival merch and wristbands or chilling out with a drink and reading the programme in the gorgeous surroundings of Larmer Tree Gardens.”
GalleryEnd of the Road Identity (Copyright © Process Play, Kai & End of the Road, 2023)
End of the Road Identity (Copyright © Process Play, Kai & End of the Road, 2023)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.