The Simple Things rebrand is a “Bristol family affair”

The festival has called on creatives behind some of the city’s best-loved design projects for its anniversary revamp.

Date
3 November 2023

Simple Things – the Bristol-born festival whose line-up this year ranges from Max Cooper through to Gilla Band – is turning ten years old. To mark the occasion, the festival is rethinking its visual identity with Alfie Allen, who began his career at South West-founded Crack Magazine and Simple Things before moving to XL Recordings. He has also attended every single edition of the festival, “so it’s a huge honour for me to return to the fold and work with my former colleagues on this”.

Max Marshall joins Alfie on art direction and design, with Greedy Goons on motion, and Ben Dosage and Andrew Cunningham on 3D – “also Simple Things repeat offenders”, says Alfie; Plinth commissioned the work. The work is textural and glitchy in the extreme, but with moments of reflection worked in too. Alfie says the team wanted a tactile identity that could offer recognisability year on year, with enough wiggle room to evolve alongside the event.

“The previous brand had delivered some beautiful moments but I think after ten years, it had been stretched in so many directions that it had lost any sense of structure,” says Alfie.

Like many festival brands these days, genre was also a consideration. The wordmark is part of an interchangeable system of lock-ups which can be mixed to cater to a variety of music styles. When viewed in 3D, the logo changes depending on which angle you look at it from.

“My hope would be that the new identity allows Simple Things moments of anarchy within the visual presentation as well as calm. That sounds like classic vague branding speak but multiplicity really is at the core of Simple Things – when you are there you really feel like you’re at seven different shows at the same time.”

GalleryAlfie Allen: Simple Things 2024 (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

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Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen & Max Marshall, 3D and motion by Ben Dosage & Andrew Cunningham, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

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Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen / Max Marshall, 3D and motion by Ben Dosage / Andrew Cunningham, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

Above

Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen / Max Marshall, 3D and motion by Ben Dosage / Andrew Cunningham, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

Above

Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen / Max Marshall, motion by George Dyson / Greedy Goons, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

Above

Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen / Max Marshall, 3D and motion by Ben Dosage / Andrew Cunningham, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

Hero Header

Simple Things 2024, art direction and design by Alfie Allen / Max Marshall, motion by George Dyson / Greedy Goons, commissioned by Plinth (Copyright © Simple Things, 2024)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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