D&AD Festival 2017 reveals visual identity

The Beautiful Meme has designed the festival’s branding, which is based around a series of colourful animations using the classic D&AD pencil.

Design & Art Direction (D&AD) Festival 2017 has revealed its visual identity, which has been designed by the same studio which created last year’s branding, The Beautiful Meme.

D&AD Festival started last year, and alongside offering a programme of talks from creatives and business-owners, it showcases an exhibition of winning projects from its annual awards scheme.

The new branding features the coveted D&AD pencil award, interpreted in various ways using different mediums through a series of animations.

The Beautiful Meme worked with animator Chris White, and collectively they sourced thousands of D&AD archive images, which were then digitised, stretched and warped to create interpretations of the pencil that could be used across the four award levels and different categories.

This includes a wooden pencil disintegrating into shavings and reforming, a digitised pencil breaking down into multi-coloured pixels, a liquid-inspired pencil effervescing and bubbling and a granite pencil surrounded by pieces of rock.

Other interpretations include pencils transforming into three-dimensional shapes such as cubes and spheres, and changing colour.

“The nod to the archive is intentionally subtle,” says Ben Haworth, creative director at The Beautiful Meme. “It will be interesting to see how many references people can spot once the full set is released.”

He adds that this year’s visual identity had to “match and exceed” last year’s “surreal compositions”, which were based on surrealist imagery overlaid with typography and line-drawn outlines of the D&AD pencil.

A more extensive colour palette has been used this year, which aims to represent the “fun” of the festival, he adds, and create branding that was “celebratory”.

Franklin Gothic typeface has been used, with a “more stripped back” typography style, which aims to provide a “calmer backdrop” to the animations.

The animated logo variations will be used as backgrounds on-site at the festival, online, and on marketing and signage material.

D&AD Festival sits alongside the D&AD Professional Awards, an annual award ceremony for established designers and D&AD New Blood, an awards scheme for emerging creatives and recent graduates.

D&AD Festival 2017 takes place 25-27 April at The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, and speakers include Sagmeister & Walsh co-founder Stefan Sagmeister, KesselsKramer creative director Erik Kessels and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler.

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