The Biennale of Sydney is one of the largest contemporary art festivals in Australia, and it brings hundreds of thousands of artists and art aficionados to its exhibition each year. For its 20th installment, the brand went with a science fiction theme and turned to a creative design agency to build a print campaign.
Australian agency For The People created this eye-catching design for Sydney’s 20th contemporary art festival. The design is clean, fun, and colorful, without overusing any one individual element.
Each design is different — from the posters to the brochures to the billboards and beyond. Each captures a slightly different ambiance, but all are tied together by a common thread — that of the future and that of scientific exploration and boundary-pushing.
This theme is displayed through a number of intricate elements in the form of imagery — from clever geometric shapes that lay on top of the design to powerful images of space, scientific instruments and more.
These images make you stop and think. They test the waters and create an energy that makes you want to break barriers.
They’re abstract and mysterious in nature, and that encourages you to think. They themselves are pieces of art and do a stunning job of promoting others to take an interest in the art world as well.
And that makes these prints wildly effective.
There are a wide variety of print designs throughout this campaign. Some look more cohesive than others. But one element that remains the same is the layered effect that comes in the form of colors and shapes.
For the brochure, for instance, the bright white and blue pages contrast with gray sheets accented with yellow. And on top, outlined shapes lay in a haphazard way creating an almost organized chaos.
The colors lie on top of each other, creating a lack of uniformity that is somehow cohesive.
In other prints, images lay on top of other images. And text almost floats around the page like it, too, is floating through time and space.
This layered effect adds depth to these prints and gives them a purpose, in a sense. It makes viewers want to lean in and get a closer look. And with that second inspection, they can better understand what these prints are promoting and it stays with them longer.
And the longer it stays with them, the more likely it is that viewers will take action.
Typography is also a strong design element in these prints. It’s unlike most typography you’d see on print designs — or any designs really. It’s almost difficult to read, which is oftentimes a big ‘no-no’ but here it works.
The typography is very unique here, with several different styles used throughout. Some letters are bold and black. Some are white with a black outline. Some letters have even been flipped. The result is a modern and fun campaign, with headlines that jump off the page.
There is an emphasis on shape and space here. These letters sometimes take on a bubbled effect while in others, there’s more space used to separate each letter from the next.
There are even some instances where the letters themselves are created only in outlines. And the typography is always changing to show movement and progress.
Just like the other elements we’ve discussed, this use of typography furthers the theme of this contemporary art festival and ties the materials together fluidly. Even though the font isn’t always the same, they all hold an otherworldly vibe that keeps them connected.
These captivating print designs were created to celebrate the 20th Biennale of Sydney. The Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s largest contemporary art exhibition. It gathers hundreds of art pieces from dozens of artists around the world.
Each year, this festival sees almost a million guests from all across the world.
Its purpose is to raise awareness about contemporary art and to inspire more artists worldwide to let their imagination run free.
According to the Biennale of Sydney institution:
The inaugural Biennale of Sydney was held in 1973 as part of the opening celebrations of the Sydney Opera House. Initiated by Founding Governor Franco Belgiorno-Nettis and supported by Founding Patrons Transfield Holdings, the Biennale of Sydney was the first exhibition of its kind to be established in the Asia-Pacific region. Alongside the Venice and São Paulo biennales and documenta, it is one of the longest running periodic exhibitions around the globe. Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has showcased the work of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries and holds an important place on both the national and international stage.
Each year, the festival takes on a new theme. And for its 20th anniversary, the festival announced a theme centered around a science-fiction quote: “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”
And to help draw attention to this innovative theme and inspiring festival, the Biennale team turned to design studio For The People to create a stunning array of print materials. The campaign was launched to raise brand awareness and inspire a new audience of art lovers.
According to For The People, the creative agency behind these prints:
The Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s largest contemporary art festival, with more than 200 artworks on display by 83 artists from 35 countries with over 600,000 national and international visitors. Its aim is to broaden the reach, awareness and engagement with contemporary art with existing and new audiences. Under the artistic direction of Dr Stephanie Rosenthal, the 20th Biennale of Sydney is organised around the over-arching theme of 'The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed’. This theme, inspired by a quote by science fiction writer, William Gibson, suggests that we have already bypassed our own expectations of a future yet to materialise, and that today’s reality is closely interwoven with the virtual world of the internet.
And their efforts paid off — because these creative and captivating designs embody a modernity and an edginess that can’t be ignored.
There’s a mystery to these designs — a subtle, creepy ambiance that almost turns you away but still manages to reel you in. These designs take on the form of posters, billboards, digital platforms and more.
And they create a cohesive and entertaining identity for this art festival that changes how people look at contemporary art for the better.
These print designs are unlike most of the prints we talk about. They all revolve around the same campaign for the same brand, but they are all uniquely different — almost standing alone as their own creations.
And that kind of mimics the aim of the brand they’re promoting — the Biennale of Sydney, which is a contemporary art festival. All of the art here should be distinctly unique but tied together through a common theme.
The theme for the 20th anniversary was sci-fi in nature, calling upon artists to create art pieces that are futuristic and test the boundaries.
These designs also test the boundaries.
Using a variety of innovative and creative design elements, the team at For The People rolled out a mesmerizing campaign that boosted awareness of the festival while also giving it a modern edge that welcomed new audiences.
And its success comes from the clever ways this agency went about their design process.
These prints are made up of a variety of geometric shapes, bold photographs of space and other scientific feats, unique typography and intricate color layering. Each of these elements stands on its own and promote a modernity and a forward-thinking vibe. But together, they really create a design that tells you to think outside the box.
And that’s exactly the point.
All of these prints look different, but there’s something about them that ties everything together — and that comes from their aesthetic. That comes from their edginess. That comes from the feelings they invoke and the thoughts they spark.
The creative agency that came up with these designs understood what the art festival was trying to accomplish and went above and beyond in their delivery. They took an idea and created an entire identity that was out-of-this-world.
This meant that the festival could widen its reach, invite new artists and art lovers into its world and continue to show the power of art to a global community.
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