Cardiff Design Festival. Over to you!

by Sarah Burley on 06 June 2019

An inspiring legacy

We’re long term believers in the power of collaboration and the rising tide lifting all boats, so when the opportunity to support the re-introduction of the Cardiff Design Festival to the creative community came about we were all in.

The festival originally ran for nearly a decade from 2005 to 2013 with the current Dean of the School of Art and Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Olwen Moseley leading the way. This year’s festival is still being curated with guidance and support from the brilliant Olwen but Melin Edomwonyi and Dan Spain are now leading a team of local creative individuals and agencies to make it all happen.

Things have moved on a bit, there’s a more vibrant creative community than ever before and we see a good opportunity to celebrate and focus on Cardiff’s design talent. The community has become more diverse and boundaries between traditional definitions of design and other creative endeavours have continued to become even harder to define. We believe design is central to creating happy and sustainable communities and creating beautiful experiences in our daily lives.

A fresh take on the brand identity

The identity for the festival has always been bright, fun and distinctive and we wanted to honour this legacy and reignite the enthusiasm in Cardiff for the festival. Last year we met with Melin, Olwen, Dan and others who were interested in the project and spoke about the festival’s mission. We asked ‘Why do this?’ ‘Who are we trying to reach?’ ‘Who is it for?’ And all the other questions that need to be asked in the initial phase of any project. The team then tasked us to start thinking about a fresh take on the festival branding.

We ran a small workshop to clarify the team’s approach and motivations and then presented our initial ideas for the new branding. The logo itself has taken the original concept of the two circles from the previous identity and introduced the C to signify Cardiff/Caerdydd and the primary colour palette is inspired by the original brand. We wanted to add to this by adding a wider colour pallette to encourage inclusivity of the wider design community and potential collaborators. We used a cheeky new typeface by the brilliant Polytype Foundry to bring the typography up to date.

Everyone's event

Ultimately what drove the brand refresh though was the idea of participation. We wanted this mark to be taken by people and made their own. For example, the logo could visually collaborate with local brands, designers or ideas as illustrated above. 

We want this festival to be driven by those within the city's creative community and with that in mind the first meet up was held this week in Tramshed Tech.

We created a newsletter to invite everyone and announce the comeback. Our designer, Callum created a lovely animation to represent all the moving parts of the community and we set about writing and designing a flyer for attendees to take away. We wanted to communicate the participatory nature of the festival so designed a die cut flyer that people could use to frame, well, whatever they liked!

Let's do this!

There’s now a real opportunity to help develop a series of events that represent the creative diversity of design in Cardiff and beyond. Head over to the website to register your interest ahead of the festival, which is planned for October. In the meantime you can take a look at some great photos from Tuesday's launch night from the talented Josh Bedford.

We can't wait to see what comes next. 

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