For the third year running, Hungarian designer Réka Neszmélyi has provided the identity for the Bánkitó Cultural & Music Festival 2017, an annual non-profit music and theatre event that holds progression and socially-conscious attitudes at its core.
Last year, we wrote about Réka’s boundary-breaking visuals that featured catfish illustrations, webbed duck feet and a broken wire fence decorated with simple line-drawn motifs. This year falls nothing short of surprises; the designer has twisted this year’s topic of ‘corruption’ into another stand-out identity, with a simple message and visual concept taking lead.
Red, black and orange form the distinctive and eye-catching colour palette, with various hand-gestures throughout. The festival’s language and message is evocatively spread among these gestures and into all sorts of mediums, including posters and a publication, as well tote bags and stickers. “[Bánkito] believes it’s essential to stand for an important social issue or case through it’s communication interfaces,” says Réka. “Every single publicity of Bánkitó had the same message: it is not ok. It is not cool that everything is ‘between us’ and it is not true that ‘everybody benefits from it’ when nobody benefits from it. In place of vague slogans and sponsored logos, Bánkitó’s crew tries to spread an important message about an issue that not only cripples our lives, but the whole country’s.”
The campaign and identity for the festival was built on this message of battling against corruption. After conjuring up ideas on the best way to communicate an important topic in a language that everyone can understand, Réka realised that hand gestures play a vital role in how we interact with one another. “I imagined a visual concept where we can communicate this message in a plain and universal way. Hand gestures and signs exist everywhere — they are an effective way to communicate quickly and clearly, however there is always a bit of a ‘secret language’ feel to them.”
Bánkitó’s ethos stands against “empty slogans and sponsor logos”. For 2017, the campaign was created to actively protest against corruption in Hungary. “This year’s identity was very much inspired by the visuality of placards of demonstrations, which was actually very representative of the streets of Budapest earlier this spring. But it also reflects on the aesthetics of propaganda with its colours and typical symbols,” Réka explains.
“Bánkitó Festival’s 2017 campaign… showed that advertising and communication surfaces can not only be used for commercial purposes but to communicate important issues. It was very exciting to see how a campaign with this approach appeared on the streets and public spaces.”