Abergavenny Arts Festival

Building an inclusive brand for a friendly, vibrant and creative community arts festival.

Art is for everyone

We were approached by the Abergavenny Arts Festival committee earlier this year as they started to plan this year's festival. The team was starting to think about the design deliverables they needed so they could begin promoting the event. It's only the second year that the festival has run and the feeling was that the original brand needed a refresh to represent the offering in a more honest and authentic way. We were excited by the opportunity to work on a brand focused on showcasing and encouraging art and creativity.  

Above all else the team behind the festival wanted to create an inclusive event, one which showcased the local talent but also introduced opportunities for attendees to just 'have a go'. An event that welcomed involvement from everyone, from local businesses to school children and visitors from further afield. There was a focus on the distinction between an Art and an Arts festival. Abergavenny is an Arts festival, there is no need for narrow definitions here, they want attendees to get creative, learn more about the local arts community and enjoy the process.

A brand with individuality

When it came to giving the festival a new identity we took an approach that we felt reflected its values and got creative. For the word mark we started to think about what was distinctive about Abergavenny, and wandering around the town we felt in awe of the beautiful landscape that surrounds and frames the beautiful little town. More specifically the three surrounding mountains, the Blorenge, the Skirrid and the Sugarloaf. We came up with a mark that represents the three mountains and simultaneously denotes the AAF of Abergavenny Arts Festival. It is a mark that is really simple to replicate and we hope that it will be painted, drawn, sewn, appliqued and anything else that can be thought up over the course of the festival.

​A warm design style

We wanted to create a brand and visual style that was authentic, relevant and different. Running with the mountains theme, we got crafty for the hero graphic of the brand. We turned our hands to some of the art techniques that will be featured at the festival, such as collage, print-making and painting. We settled on creating a landscape, literally creating a sense of place with the arts, we finished the landscape with a hand painted warm sun – that everyone will be hoping for come 28th June.

We then used various cuts of the mountains to create a series of posters that outlines some of the crafts on show and another that featured the festival strapline; Art is for everyone.

A colourful, hand-illustrated programme

We created a handy programme that was easy to read, and to carry around. It has a warm, friendly and crafty feel to it and we hope that it will encourage people to grab one and to get involved. We also created an illustrated map to help attendees quickly find their way to events, whether they are familiar with the local area or not. The map includes illustrations of some of Abergavenny's most iconic buildings such as the Market Hall and the Castle, and some of the supporting local businesses such as The Wool Croft.

The feedback from the committee and the local arts community behind the event has been great and we are really happy to have provided such a lovely team with the tools they needed to communicate what we are sure will be a beautiful and inclusive event. It's going to be a great weekend, so if you have the opportunity to attend we’re sure you’ll have a very warm welcome. Take a look.

Testimonial from the festival team

Abergavenny Arts Festival approached John&Jane Agency to update and develop the image and branding of the festival. We are only in our second year and felt that the imagery used last year did not reflect the uniqueness and individuality of our festival. After a tendering process we chose them because we felt they had a lot to offer. 

The team came to meet a small group of our committee members and spent time getting a flavour of the festival, our aims and mission statement, the unique locality, the important themes, proposed activities and our hopes for the future sustainability of our festival. They also walked around Abergavenny, viewing proposed venues and significant features. 

The designs they created far surpassed our expectations and capture the sense of place which now reflect our festival and we now have branding which we are proud of and will roll on to future festivals in years to come. The programme has been highly praised by many people. 

The feedback and follow up service was personal, focused and prompt. We have no problem in recommending their company and look forward to working with them again in the future.

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