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Graphic Design Festival Scotland, 20-26 October, 2017

GDFS, 20-26 Oct, 2017


2017 Identity

We ask.
You decide.

Graphic Design Festival Scotland

The festival’s identity is redesigned each year to reflect the growth of GDFS as an organisation and the development of the programme. As graphic designers, it also provides a platform for us to experiment, explore new ideas and build new relationships with those we collaborate with.

This year’s identity was designed by Graphical House and Warriors Studio. The website and poster generator were built by Infinite Eye.

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What’s 2017’s identity about?

This year’s identity explores democracy and the systems created to enable and control decision making.

Within the current political landscape our choices are binary. You may only choose one or the other. Media coverage portrays options which are black and white. There is no middle ground. There are no grey areas.

Left or right?
In or out?
Right or wrong?

Nuance and circumstance are forgotten. The decision making process and options may be black and white but the consequences are grey until after your decision has been made.

Not only are these constraints significant in the broad social and political landscape that we all inhabit but also in the professional world we work within as designers.

Role of Design and Designers

Designers play a key role in the process of shaping and communicating information.

The presentation and communication of information is critical to how we interpret and understand our world, informing the decisions we make and what we choose to believe.

Fact or fiction, truth or lies.

Do we trust in spoken words and human opinions or do we place our trust in systems and processes?

As designers, the decisions we make together affect what is produced, this affects how our work connects with the audience, the outcome for the client and the effectiveness of what is created.

With the identity for Graphic Design Festival Scotland 2017 we wanted to explore these ideas.

Where do you come in?

We define parameters and pose a series of binary questions online. You make the decisions.

Choose one or the other – this or that – always binary. The choices are clear but their consequence are not. A selection shapes an outcome. A reaction shapes the message.

The parameters will be based on simple design decisions using a neutral typeface, default colours, basic layout options and simplified graphic content.

The outcomes become the Festival Campaign Identity for 2017.

We ask.
You decide.

Complete Identity

Each year we develop a thread within the identity which speaks our language as designers. Referencing classic and fundamental components of the design process was our basis for deciding colour, typography and layout.

The colour palette is based on the original process of four-colour production through printing. CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). In connection with the identity’s creative concept, through four limited choices a near infinite of unknown and undefined outcomes can be created.

There are few typefaces more synonymous with design as Helvetica. Boasting a cult following, to the point where an entire film on the importance of the typeface was produced by Gary Hustwit in 2007. We selected a redraw of the pre-digital typeface Neue Haas Grotesk which laid the foundations for the more common Helvetica we see in use today.

Neue Haas Grotesk was redrawn digitally by Christian Schwarz: “The digital version of Helvetica that everyone knows and uses today is quite different from the typeface’s pre-digital design from 1957. Originally released as Neue Haas Grotesk, many of the features that made it a Modernist favorite have been lost in translation over the years from one typesetting technology to the next.”

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