Studio Dumbar/DEPT®’s motion identity for North Sea Jazz Festival celebrates the energy of live music

With the rebrand, the festival sought a fresh look that would attract a new audience without alienating returning fans.

24 October 2022

Studio Dumbar/DEPT® has once again created a lively identity that proves the possibilities of motion. This time, it’s for Rotterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival (NSJF). Following the pandemic, the festival sought a fresh new look to bring the festival up to date and better reflect the diversity of its programme, which now encompasses jazz, fusion, hip hop, world and R&B. In line with this thinking, the organisers wanted an identity that would appeal to a new audience, “without alienating the fans who visit the festival each year”, a case study outlines.

To directly reference the content of the festival, Studio Dumbar/DEPT® created an identity that celebrates “the unique energy of live music performance”, using a focus on “rhythm and movement” as its driving force. Guided by custom coding, the various type elements – line-ups, dates and location – twist, flex and transform like a soundwave or an avant-garde dance move.

In terms of the colour palette, the identity blends tradition with modernity. While the festival’s famous green swash remains at the forefront, the studio included accent colours and high-contrast combinations – like red, electric blue and bright purple – to create a “vibe more in step with the spirit of a constantly evolving festival,” as the press release details. The identity isn’t only visually dynamic, but also dynamic in its uses, as it is set to be shown in motion across screens and billboards, and across posters and T-shirts using carefully captured stills (that still encapsulate the identity’s energetic nature).

The NJSF identity comes after the recent Design in Motion festival, an Amsterdam-based event founded by the studio alongside Global. The festival saw 5,000 advertising screens across train stations, metros and shopping centres around the Netherlands taken over by the best new motion-design work created by emerging global talent. It’s Nice That was a media partner for the event.

GalleryStudio Dumbar/DEPT®: North Sea Jazz Festival Identity (Copyright © Studio Dumbar/DEPT®, 2022)

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Studio Dumbar/DEPT®: North Sea Jazz Festival Identity (Copyright © Studio Dumbar/DEPT®, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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