Brighton Festival, main image

Brighton Festival identity based on Rokia Traoré

Ian Bonner News

Brighton Festival have had their branding for this years event created by Johnson Banks and illustrator Simon Prades. It features an “F” letter which is set inside a silhouette of the events guest director.

Brighton Festival is held every year and is a celebration of arts and culture, comprising of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events. Beginning in 1967, the festival runs over three weeks during May in venues across Brighton and Hove.

Brighton Festival, brochure

In 2009 the festival began to invite internationally recognised guest directors to put the festival together. The last few years have seen Brian Eno, poet Kate Tempest along with the sculptor Anish Kapoor taking on the reins.

This years director for the festival is Malian musician Rokia Traoré, whose idea for the event is to “inspire and empower individuals and communities to meet, listen and pass on stories to the next generation”, say Brighton Festival.

The new identity for the festival has been developed by Johnson Banks alongside Simon Prades. A new boarder set of guidelines have also been designed for the festival event.

Traorés’ silhouette has been used as the main focal point of the new identity which creative director at Johnson Banks, Michael Johnson says “clearly marks it as her festival”.

A sideview of Traorés’ head has been used to create the silhouette which has been illustrated by Prades.

Brighton Festival, tote bag

“Right from the first briefings, we were keen to use [Traorés’] profile as the basis of this year’s image. She a has a unique silhouette and we wanted to make the most of it. We looked at many approaches including photographic and graphic, but an illustrative approach just seemed to evoke the qualities that we were looking for,” says Johnson.

The silhouette illustration created by Prades is intended to be a “celebration of growth, movement and ‘coming together” that the Brighton Festival represents says Johnson.

The letter “F” is hand-drawn and set inside the silhouette in a white serif typeface, and the words Brighton Festival are written vertically inside the letterform. The body text font for the festival branding is a slab serif typeface called Lubalin Graph.

The silhouette is surrounded by the illustrations of African hibiscus flowers in an orange, yellow and red palette.

Brighton Festival, previous identities

The letter “F” logo was designed back in 2013 by Johnson Banks and has been used every year since in various ways in the identities for each year. 

“For locals, and increasingly the wider region, [the ‘F’] has a become a key signifier that the Festival is approaching, and is deliberately designed to partner with the identity we designed for Brighton Dome,” says Johnson.

The new Brighton Festival identity is currently going live on merchandise which includes bags and t-shirts, on the website for the festival and on social media, on event signage and on festival brochures and in print.

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