So, last year covid put a spanner in the works (more like, upended its toolbox with reckless abandon) and cancelled a really exciting event we had been working on for the better part of the year. A music & good times festival called SPRINGTIME.

Well, we’re happy to say the Gold Coast festival is BACK for 2022!!! And thank gawd. Putting hundreds of hours into branding a festival to only watch it gather dust in the dark corners of Google Drive was… hard to take.

We were stoked when MEGC reached out to let us know they would run with last year’s creative (with a few little tweaks, of course). Here's a sneak peak into the 2022 look and feel: 




 

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BRANDING A FESTIVAL

This isn’t our first festival rodeo. We’ve been working with MEGC for a few years now, on a bunch of different festivals. Having been involved at multiple points along the creative journey, one thing we'll say is– making a festival actually happen is bloody hard work. And we're not even the ones running the thing!

So in light of this, we've jotted down five things to consider if you're : a) part of a team of festival producers looking for a design team, b) on the receiving end of the creative brief, or c) hoping to get into this area of design. 

1. How often do festivals rebrand?

Depends. A lot of major festivals can afford a rebrand year-on-year (big festi', big brand budget). Smaller contenders–like grassroots groups, community or council funded events–usually dance to a tighter financial tune.

These smaller folk will often implement a strategic ‘stretch’ of their identity. Pushing the lifespan from 1 year to 2 or 3. This helps them save some buckeroos so when a full rebrand is on the table, there'll be a bigger budget to work with. 

These smaller pals really value when a design team takes this into consideration. If you’re engaged to develop branding for a festival,  do some mental hula-hooping to think about how parts of the identity could be refreshed year on year, between now and the next big rebrand. What elements could remain, and what aspects could be replaced or refreshed without too much effort? Basically...is there potential for evolution, without too much effort? 

2. The two creative components to a festival; the master art and the roll out

Master Art. Sound fancy? Cos it is. It’s probably the coolest part of the design gig to work on.

During the master art phases, the look & feel is set. The colours are chosen, fonts tried & tested. Hero graphics, textures and patterns are created. Layouts are done, and then redone. We're testing the waters, building out a library of design elements and layouts that take into consideration the huuuuuge number of applications that a festival is gonna need. 

Not only is master art about pulling together a single, cohesive look, it's also about providing examples on how the design style will work, in practice. Without application examples, you may look upon your epic creation 6-months later, to find the roll out team did not, in fact, execute the creative in the way you intended.

So what's the other part– the roll out? Everything else, basically. Once the master art is complete, anything else that needs to be created for the festival is now ‘roll out’ material. This might be brand collateral, social tiles and templates, advertising creative, marketing assets, billboards, event collateral, merch and signage. Maybe even a Space X decal for Elon, if ya lucky. Who knows. The point is, it's all roll out. 

3. Beware the rollout!

From our experience, roll outs are at super high risk of scope creep. I mean, it makes sense. The more moving parts there are to a project, the more chance things are gonna get a bit out of control.

The best way to mitigate this is set a conditional budget. Conditional to changes in scope or deliverables, and reasonable revisions. You’ll find it pretty hard to find an event producer that needs zero flexibility when it comes to deliverables, so agreeing to a conditional budget is a good way to serve you both.

4. An epic brand identity is cool n’ all, but if it’s not dynamic, things could turn ugly

If you’re going to create a brand identity for a festival, it’s going to have to work in MANY different sizes, shapes and formats. It’s not always going to be a neat A4 page, or a sexy social square. It’s going to be in every imaginable shape and size, often packed with a lot of information, text and sponsor logos. Things can get ugly real quick, if you haven’t taken this into consideration.

Make sure what you create is dynamic: meaning, it can be broken down into smaller pieces and rejigged to suit multiple weird and whacky spec sizes. You know those shameful as heck digital skyscraper digital banners? Who created such unlawful specs? I don’t know, but they’re everywhere, so make sure you’ve thought about how your delicious A4 layout is going to work on a banner the size of your index finger.

5. Good times, good rewards

Working with people is cool, but working with people you like is better. So make an effort to make the relationship enjoyable for both you, and the festival team. Not only will it be worth it for the immediate benefits, it'll also bolster brownie points for the next possible design gig, and the one after that, and the one after that... 

So be proactive on deliverables, play nice when "URGENT!#@&%*$&#@!!!" hit your inbox, and keep a solid record of all the moving parts of the project (pro tip: spreadsheet that sh*t). 

Pssst... Interested to see how we do it? Check out some of our festival rebrands here, and here

 

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