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AV Festival 2006 / 2008

Branding / Art Direction / Copywriting

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AV Festival is the UK’s largest digital arts festival, and takes place in the cities of Newcastle/Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. The brief for the 2006 branding exercise and marketing campaign was to widen appeal much further than the “die-hard digital geeks”. The identity needed to work as a flexible system, updatable by multiple agencies for each subsequent year, theme and graphic concept.

The 2006 theme was inspired by the North East’s biotechnology industries. We jumped headfirst into the tabloid style scare-mongering of such issues by creating provocative, intriguing and absurd statements, each referring to its host marketing material as a living being — the posters were clones of real posters, the guidebook was genetically modified to be 150% more useful, the adverts had been tested on animals.

To introduce the 2008 theme of Broadcast, we experimented with patterns that describe radiowaves and transmissive signals, and this time our statements used the language of telecommunications to discuss the potential of the visitors as being both the transmitter and the receiver of broadcasts. Work for each festival included outdoor and press campaigns, screen idents, art direction of website and a 52 page A5 festival guide book.

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