New Holland Festival identity is inspired by Milton Glaser

Dutch consultancy Thonik has created a new identity for major cultural event Holland Festival, which it says is inspired by Milton Glaser’s 1970 Stencil typeface.

The next Holland Festival will be held in May and June 2015 and will feature a series of music, theatre and dance performances. The festival’s new director is Ruth Mackenzie, former director of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Thonik’s rebrand of the festival is the first update to the identity since 2005. The consultancy says: “The Holland Festival has a strong tradition of graphic styles that reveals much about the history of Dutch graphic design.”

In 1995, Anthon Beeke created an identity for the festival that saw letters removed from its name to create a logo. In 2005, Maureen Mooren and Daniel van der Velden pared this back even further to create a simpler identity.

For its update, Thonik says it wanted to continue this “tradition of elimination” by creating a ligature logo, with ligatures also used on the wordmark.

The consultancy says: “The first results of the ligature made graphic sense, but were illegible and unclear.  More elements needed to be deleted for the full strength and clarity of the concept to shine.”

Thonik says the “solution” came from Glaser’s Stencil typeface from 1970. The consultancy says it used this as inspiration and took Swiss typeface Euclid Flex as the starting point to design the HF ligatures and type.

Working with type foundry Bold Monday, the consultancy created a new typeface to form the basis of the identity.

The identity is rolling out with a colour palette that uses green and blue with a pale pink. Thonik co-director Nikki Gonnissen says: “Of course the content of the festival will also become part of its visual communication, but we felt that since the art images merge with information, then the typography should also be reworked. 

“Now the photography and the typography are both altered so the interaction becomes more meaningful.”

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