The new identity for Graphic Design Festival Scotland, designed by Warriors Studio and Freytag Anderson, explores the process and dialogue which unfolds as ideas are developed and visualised.
“We are very aware of designers’ tendencies to present polished resolved work all of the time, but the journey and process are equally as important and can also be equally as interesting,” says James Gilchrist, co-founder of Warriors Studio. “This identity is about the journey as opposed to the destination.”
The collaboration has produced 15 posters to date, a number which is set to grow as the project develops. The designers are developing an area on the GDFS website that will allow visitors to design their own poster which could then be included in the final print run. “We wanted to create something which is more than a functional identification tool for the festival, but something which is living, evolving and can represent the raw energy and creativity that the festival provides,” says James.
Each year Warriors Studio works with a different design studio on the identity for GDFS with the intention to keep the festival’s presence fresh and progressive. “Working with another design studio allows us to break down the conventional client, designer approach and open our minds to new ways of working,” says James. “Each person involved simultaneously becomes the client, designer, art director and project manager, creating a strong platform for experimentation and collaboration.”
As the collaboration with Freytag Anderson got underway, the concept for the identity became clear to the designers. “We realised that the festival itself is a place for design and creative expression and experimentation of ideas and the identity should be about capturing that very same process,” says Greig Anderson, co-founder of Freytag Anderson. The team began to document everything it did while working on the project; saving all of the art boards and everything it designed as well as recording Skype conversations, emails and even going so far as taking screen records as it worked.
The resulting work is a chaotic and noisy identity that still manages coherence across the whole project. Images are layered and cropped and grid lines remain unhidden. The 2016 identity uses a single weight of GT Walsheim (regular) that provides a constant and the recurring blue and white colour palette makes sure that the location of the festival is abundantly clear.
“There’s something about the posters that feel as if you’re peering into the inner workings of a computer, or a machine or even catching a brief glimpse into one of our brains,” says James “We were keen that they didn’t feel overly technical and ‘generated’ however, so there are lots of organic hand drawn/sprayed/natural image making elements in there as well offering an interesting juxtaposition between digital and analogue work,” adds Greig.