Dancing in the streets

30 March 2012

This is an old post, so may include broken links and/or out-of-date information

Supercool were appointed sole print design agency for the four-week long International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) 2012.

Our first task was to bring the IDFB visual style closer to that of co-producer DanceXchange; which we did by simplifying typography, making greater use of the double slash device, and concentrating on large, single images rather than multiple image thumbnails – particularly on large format print such as 48-sheet billboards and 13ft bus ads.

The design is purposely simple, therefore easy to apply across the many different types of promotional materials required, which included: flyers, leaflets, posters, brochures, outdoor advertising, banners, screen graphics, print ads, signage, resource packs, email templates.

Despite this extensive list of deliverables, everything was produced on-time, within agreed budgets, and without a hitch.

Although each piece of communication needed to sit within the IDFB style 'framework', a certain amount of design freedom was needed to allow individual performances to speak for themselves. A good example of this is Dave St Pierre's controversial 'Un Peu De Tendresse Bordel de Merde' at Warwick Arts Centre; bold, raw typography was coupled with very carefully cropped imagery … the dancers in this show don't wear any clothing.

The primary piece of IDFB print communication was the brochure detailing all events within the festival; events which took place over 4 weeks, across 13 different venues (including touring performances), at varying times and each with its own ticketing information – and with so many details, the design had to be clear and easy to understand. Something must have worked as IDFB 2012 achieved an unprecedented number of sell-out events.

One of these was the Family Weekend held at mac birmingham, which featured a range of free and paid-for performances, workshops and other participatory events. A promotional leaflet and daily timetables were designed especially for the Family Weekend, so that everyone knew exactly what was happening when and where. (There's a personal account of the event over on our blog.)

We also created stand-alone identities for original IDFB productions Home and Wings of Desire, plus 'festival within a festival' Light Fantastic – a season of dance-related film screenings.

… exceptional quality and often delivered to extremely tight deadlines. Supercool is a friendly, easy-to-work-with design agency that delivers exceptional quality at extraordinary value for money.

Katherine Flynn – Marketing Manager

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