The Christchurch Arts Festival team asked us to reimagine the brand identity and communications for the 2019 festival. Their aim: to deliver a festival that brought about a sense of celebration and hope, warmth and togetherness over Canterbury’s cold winter months.
In developing the concept we were tasked with responding to the 1973 festival programme — designed by Bret de Thier. We tracked Bret down (now 75), where we learnt of his incredible body of work and contributions towards design both locally and around the world and invited him to be part of the creative team. Together we made the decision to redraw and reinstate the original festival logo — a representation of Christchurch cathedral’s rose window.
In order to differentiate festival communication from programme specific messaging, we developed a two-tiered approach. Firstly: we art directed a series of 3D visualisations that depicted how light interacted with the Cathedral’s rose window. This was used solely for applications that communicated the festival as a whole. Secondly: for the programme specific messaging, we developed a photographic concept that used this same idea of warm coloured light to portray the narrative of different aspects within each hero show or performance.
We designed a 44 page programme using a strong 12 column grid that heroed both campaign and performer imagery on large full-bleed spreads. A short-cut cover and centre section — which housed a map, timetable and key festival details — were printed on a contrasting gloss paper stock. Again, the website carried through the use of the grid and made use of an intuitive user-interface which morphed seamlessly between animation and performer imagery as the viewer scrolled down the page.