Curious Festival, established in 2016, is an annual festival of immersive queer arts and culture. Based in the North East, the festival features a world-class programme of dance and culture. Through socially focussed performance, the event encourages dialogue on relevant social issues in an ever changing world, with an aim to inspire and unite communities.
Process and strategy
We were briefed to rebrand the festival, and collaboratively agreed the identity needed a revolution to be able to grow. Our goal was to set Curious as a ‘political alternative’ to Pride, and position it as the largest Queer Arts festival in the region.
- Celebrate difference through a bold visual language
- Create a dynamic system that is relevant to queer culture
- Position Curious as a world-class festival of performance
- Build reputation and reach a wider audience.
- Build commercial partnerships and funding opportunities
- Amplify competitive advantage
- Create a unified and meaningful visual language
- Elevate public profile and attract new audiences
- Build a sense of pride and belonging.
Criteria for success
- Representative: an accurate reflection of Curious and it’s ethos
- Inspirational: breathe new life into the brand and audiences
- Measurable: trackable impact and growth
- Flexible: translatable across environments and media
Curious breaks boundaries and challenges regimes by celebrating queer culture regardless of labels. The most widely recognised symbol of queer culture is the rainbow flag, but what about beyond the rainbow? What about Bisexual, asexual, and pansexual pride flags?
‘Beyond the rainbow’
Following 4 months of development and intensive collaboration, ‘Beyond the rainbow’ was created. Our concept was informed by the wider spectrum of LGBTQ flags, and crafted through deconstruction of the flags to celebrate difference, whilst challenging social conformity and perceptions.
Vibrant colours and shapes used at scale are the signature elements of the visual language, along with a deconstructed typeface. Together, the elements strike a balance between practicality and aesthetics; whilst being spontaneous and surprising to represent constant experimentation. The wordmark of the brand is distinctive, with abstract elements and an expansive colour palette to reflect the essence of Curious and the core idea.
A photography bank was an important element to strengthen the brand. We used 2017’s event to capture strong imagery of performance and audience, giving Curious a criteria of: energy, culture, celebration and vibrancy for future photography.
Curious now have a strong identity toolkit and brand guidelines to demonstrate the flexibility and power of the system across environments and media. Their identity is now in tune with queer culture, and a cultural shift of communities uniting.
The revitalised bold identity has:
- accelerated marketplace recognition
- strengthened brand positioning of political purpose and culture
- given Curious recognition for the largest Queer Arts event in the region
- resonated with queer culture
- connected with a wider audience
- increased festival growth by 150%.
- been recognised and featured on a national level
- strengthened commercial partnerships and increased funding.