Studio Lowrie’s identity for Rally festival is unpolished and DIY-inspired

The transient feel and material focus offer an innate tactility to the grassroots festival.

9 October 2023


“It was important that the identity communicated a crafted and human touch.” The founder of Studio Lowrie, Mike White, is detailing how the London-based design practice explored the grassroots nature of Rally festival across its ethereal, semi-psychedelic, sensory identity. “It is a physical expression of the community,” Mike continues, “crafted with vast amounts of love and total integrity,” whilst nurturing the festival’s core ambition: to foster an earnest connection between music and the individuals embracing it. As such, Studio Lowrie sought to steer clear of anything superfluous that would distract or dilute Rally’s rationale, instead hoping to cut through the noise of the contemporary festival scene’s established aesthetics and “develop something that felt energetic and daring,” initially exploring 1970s and 1980s punk zines. “It was natural for us to explore this world as a start,” Mike adds, “something unpolished, raw and DIY,” and, consequently, something equally as energetic, immediate and authentic.

Directed by pen and paper, Rally’s identity, even within its virtual spaces, conveys this haptic character, allowing the brand’s material choices to lead the charge. “Most of the assets we were creating for the festival are digital,” Mike explains, “but we wanted them to have a unique feel that was not achievable through digital filters and effects.” They aimed to translate tactility and texture through screens by using all sorts of techniques, such as ripping, scrunching, layering, and distorting recycled paper, “before scanning in the results through translucent layers to achieve a softer, analogue aesthetic.” This created a process in which every asset was uniquely crafted, and a space where errors are welcomed, and the materials innately informed the outcome. “The light pink was inspired by the off-the-shelf coloured office papers,” Mike contextualises, explaining how the use of colour came directly from the materials used. “It’s playful, welcoming and contrasts nicely with the black-and-white brand language.


Studio Lowrie: Rally (Copyright © Studio Lowrie, 2023)


Studio Lowrie: Rally, Photography: Jack Nelson (Copyright © Studio Lowrie and Adam Laycock, 2023)


Studio Lowrie: Rally, Photography: Jack Nelson (Copyright © Studio Lowrie and Adam Laycock, 2023)

“With experimentation and imperfection ingrained into the brand language,” Mike notes, “it meant the 100s of assets we created all have their own distinct personality,” welcoming of unexpected aesthetics and errors. “It’s a unique project to work on because mistakes become part of the process,” he remarks, “and even the genuine mistakes look intentional.” In contrast, the typographic side of the brand was explored from a more pragmatic view, needing to react in opposition to the expressive, chromatic visuals whilst clearly informing its audience of what’s what and who’s who. “Our supporting typeface was more of a functional one than a stylistic one,” Mike notes, “which felt more reflective of the approach to zine making,” opting for Dinamo’s Monument Grotesk as the hero typeface behind the brand. “It’s the workhorse font of our studio,” he adds, “and it’s the perfect balance of character, neutrality and legibility,” founding the functional base of the brand.

“Ultimately the best part of the project was creating a zine for the festival,” Mike concludes. “It was our ambition from the very start and (we hope!) an authentic summary of all the love and energy put into the festival.” At the end of the day, Studio Lowrie captured an undeniably distinctive energy through the poetry of the project’s process – an impressive feat on its own, let alone under the pressure of an incredibly tight turnaround – creating a “handmade”, tangible visual language that not only felt instinctively soulful, but also, ultimately, alive through the iterative, spontaneity offered at every aesthetic turn.

GalleryStudio Lowrie: Rally (Copyright © Studio Lowrie, 2023)

GalleryStudio Lowrie: Rally, Photography: Sienna Gray (Copyright © Studio Lowrie and Sienna Gray, 2023)


Studio Lowrie: Rally, Photography: Adam Laycock (Copyright © Studio Lowrie and Adam Laycock, 2023)

GalleryStudio Lowrie: Rally (Copyright © Studio Lowrie, 2023)

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Studio Lowrie: Rally identity
Photography: Sebastian Gardner (Copyright © Studio Lowrie and Sebastian Gardner, 2023)

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About the Author

Harry Bennett

Hailing from the West Midlands, and having originally joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020, Harry is a freelance writer and designer – running his own independent practice, as well as being one-half of the Studio Ground Floor.

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