GMAF Poster Design
We started by identifying the typeface used in the GAIN Music logotype―I took on design for the 6th annual GAIN Music Arts Festival and, with limited time, looked to strong imagery from earlier years to quickly build its core visual language for 2016. The sans serif font was Sawasdee. It’s simple, and its simplicity balanced well against a more extravigant typeface, Lobster (1.4), used in some subtitles for the 2015 festival artwork―we extended this serif font to all titles, including the title case, “Arts Festival”, and its acronym, “AF”. The other acronym, “GM”, is actually in a typeface called Tw Cen MT, a font that proved to mimick the style of Sawasdee but with the bold weight needed to balance with the dynamic weight of its second half, “AF”, typed in Lobster; “GAIN Music” as it appears in the festival title, stays in Sawasdee, which also extended its use to paragraphs and event specs, to connect the brand to the festival materials, which included the event poster, event banners, lanyards, handbill and schedule.
It’s the biggest festival GAIN Music has put on to date; 6 days, 10 venues, over 25 acts, and I was tasked to fit them on a poster and in the style of an 18th to 19th century map and handbill, showcasing the city of downtown Guelph. We leaned on iconography to represent the venues on the map; they are simple shapes and with splashes of color, like ink spots, layered on the 18th century canvas. Color highlights are on a layer of the map so that its contrast can be muted in the background of the poster design, above; the handbill, below, served as a schedule of events and a full-color map.
The GAIN Music logotype complimented the typeface for the Arts Festival, and with the two fonts we brought consistency to the GMAF design―for 2016 and years to come. We reinforced the role of the GAIN Music brand in the GMAF title with the bold “GM”, connected the “AF” to the Arts Festival lettering, and limited branding to the two respective typefaces―in a week, settled foundation on which, year by year, we can build a strong visual identity for the Arts Festival as its key role in the yearly lineup presented by GAIN Music.