“It’s Glasgow nae Cannes”: O Street crafts new identity for a digital film festival

With flexibility and accessibility front of mind, the studio has rebranded the much-loved Glasgow Film Festival.

2 March 2021


O Street, the design and branding agency based in Glasgow, has created a new identity for the Glasgow Film Festival, the city’s much-loved independent film festival that is this year taking place in a far more digital form due to the pandemic. The brief and the approach taken by O Street were informed by the personality and character of the festival’s host city.

“We wanted to create a campaign that celebrates both Glasgow and film,” says David Freer, director at O Street. “We loved the idea of creating something that felt accessible and non-exclusive; it’s Glasgow nae Cannes. We wanted it to have a fun approachable festival feel, like a music festival rather than a stuffy serious beard-stroking vibe.”

The Glasgow Film Festival has been running for 15 years and is organised annually by the city’s leading independent cinema, the Glasgow Film Theatre. This year, however, due to the pandemic, the festival is taking place for the first time entirely online. This presented a new challenge for David and his team.

“We knew online viewing was going to be part of it, as it was already lockdown when we began, although the hope was always that there would be a mix of home and venue screenings,” David explains. “A digital-first approach allowed us to focus more time on making the most of motion elements, various animated trailers and creating filters for social media.” The “online at home” aspect of this year’s festival was really important to him and his team. “Our visuals highlight the playful juxtaposition between the glamour of cinema and watching movies in your PJs.”


O Street: Visual Identity for Glasgow Film Festival (Copyright © O Street, 2021)

The logo puts a screen motif centre stage. “Cinema is a window into new places, people, life experiences and truths,” says David. “This has been especially handy over the past year, as we’ve certainly not been going far IRL.” He and his team, therefore, gave the artwork a slightly psychedelic and mystical feel. “We brought it to life with a full technicolour animation, pairing it with a playful set of illustrated icons which serve as tributes to cinema and the city,” he adds.

All the illustration and design work was done in-house by the O Street team, using that screen motif and GFT’s current font. The little illustrated icons, which represent various different aspects of the festival, film in general and the city of Glasgow, are particularly charming (the full set can be viewed below). They feature prominently in the trailer for the festival created by O Street and set to a really fun custom soundtrack by local musician Finlay Mowat. “These wee illustrated emblems represent home comforts and cinematic imagery,” says David, “mixed in together to emphasise the fun of experiencing a film festival in your physical home and the city you call home.”

O Street: Glasgow Film Festival trailer (Copyright © O Street, 2021)

GalleryO Street: Visual Identity for Glasgow Film Festival (Copyright © O Street, 2021)

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O Street: Visual Identity for Glasgow Film Festival (Copyright © O Street, 2021)

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About the Author

Matt Alagiah

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine. Drop him a line with ideas and suggestions, or simply to say hello.


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