Get in the mood for festival season with Rakhmat Jaka’s musical motion posters

For Synchronize Festival, the designer created a series of moving posters which include various references to music, festival life and Jakarta’s local culture.

28 March 2023


Last year we had the pleasure of experiencing Rakhmat Jaka’s hectic yet mesmerising moving posters crashing right onto our screens. When chatting to Rakhmat, we learnt that an important facet of his style is including “vernacular visuals” of everyday life in Indonesia. Now, fittingly, Rakhamat’s work has been used to front Synchronize Festival. Based in Jakarta, the festival’s 2022 theme was “Local be Vocal”, making Rakhmat’s vibrant visuals the perfect commission.

An annual event run by Demajors, an Indonesian record label, Synchronize has rapidly become one of the country’s largest musical events. At its core, the festival aims to promote local musicians and collaborate with graphic designers and visual artists from Indonesia. Rakhmat was enlisted onto the project on the recommendation of Studio Cipsi’s art director Astri Purnamasari, and collaborated with artistic director Saleh Hussain.

The creative brief is one Rakhmat describes as “straightforward”, existing at the intersection of three curatorial statements and objectives, the first being ‘environmental’, referring to the need to keep the process as environmentally conscious as possible. Secondly, there was ‘hybrid’ which pushed Rakhmat to pursue diversity in his visual methods throughout the design process. And finally, perhaps the foremost incentive, there was ‘history’ – paying homage to Indonesia’s creative development and interdisciplinary space.

Rakhmat Jaka: Synchronize Festival (Copyright © Rakhmat Jaka, 2022)

To complete the project, Rakhmat began with an eclectic moodboard full of references, including vernacular paintings, DIY structures and various methods of brightly coloured transportation. What’s interesting about the final designs is how much the compositions mirror the feel of a mood board; various disparate references coming together to create the sense of a whole. Of course, throughout the designs Rakhmat also had to reference music, and amongst imagery relating to Indonesian culture he nestled speakers, soundwaves and musical notes.

But what makes Rakhmat’s work relevant to the world of music is their moving element. Not only does their vibrating, twisting and malformed qualities make them perfect for pairing with music, but it also allows Rakhmat to mirror the culture of music. In one particularly fun piece, dancing, jiving legs are shown beneath a banner which says ‘A Festival for Everyone’, the energy and playfulness perfectly replicating the high-spirited feel of a festival.

The project is Rakhmat’s largest yet, and looking back, he reflects on how much of a momentous moment it was in his creative journey: “I never imagined I would be able to pour works into media that are so diverse, large and seen by thousands of people”. Rakhmat also hopes it’s a project that also pushes other festivals to embrace the culture of their local area and incorporate it into their visual look. On the project as a whole, Rakhmat ends by saying that “we believe what’s been successful is elevating local essence, and that’s something that’s been appreciated by many people”.

Rakhmat Jaka: Synchronize Festival (Copyright © Rakhmat Jaka, 2022)

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Rakhmat Jaka: Synchronize Festival (Copyright © Rakhmat Jaka, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

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.

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