The festival formerly known as Graphic Design Festival Scotland will now become INTL, after six barnstorming years as GDFS. This is an evolution of the brand, as GDFS now sits within an overarching organisation for the festival to operate within called INTL.
The foundation of the identity was created by Warriors Studio, the folk behind the founding and organisation of the festival. They said they envisage this to be an ongoing collaboration between Warriors and "lots of different creative practitioners as time goes on" including other designers, artists, writers, sculptors and those working in other disciplines. "It's a whole new world for us and hopefully an exciting new way to develop an identity," says Warriors.
The identity for GDFS was known for the fact it changed with each year. "This was great fun and forced us to push ourselves every year to come up with a new concept, and a new way of composing an identity, tackle global topics and express our views. But this came with a mammoth workload of work and added a huge amount of pressure," says Warriors.
"Our approach is now longer-term and hopefully, more holistic and mature. We're aiming for less chaos, more consistency, and creating a more established recognisable brand for INTL."
Parts of the identity will be "fluid" and can evolve annually. Still, unlike with the GDFS identity, there will be recurring elements to help retain consistency and allow the identity to work as a cohesive system with each year. This means INTL will have a "simple" identity to anchor each event to its overarching brand; but this can adapt as various campaigns are launched in collaboration with different designers, artists, photographers, illustrators and creatives from different disciplines each year to "reflect the move towards a more multi-disciplinary programme," says the team.
"We hope by creating these limitations to operate within it will also force us to be creative in new ways. We're excited at the idea of bringing unexpected or intriguing disciplines together for campaigns, merging disparate approaches and continuing the spirit of collaboration which has always been integral to everything we do – particularly through Graphic Design Festival Scotland."
One collaborator that the GDFS and Warriors Studio gang has already been collaborating with is Nam Huynh, who animated the three type-transition motion graphics which see the letters GDFS transforming into INTL. This looks to communicate the shift between brand names in a succinct, striking way and also introduces the idea of motion to the new GDFS homepage.
As for the rest of the identity, the colour palette is formed of IK Blue, black, white and grey. Two brand typefaces are used—Neue Haas Grotesk and General Type Studio's Pilat—aiming to create a confident tone.
IK Blue is a colour with an interesting back story, and which forms the central element of the identity. The team found that despite having previously believed it to be solely a digital colour, it was created by French artist Yves Klein, a paint supplier and a Pharmaceutical company in 1958. Since then, it's inspired countless other art projects, and its power was harnessed by Mike Tyson, who chose it for his boxing garb. "The historical context felt rich and visually for us, it feels fresh, contemporary and even futuristic. With the name originating as Yves Klein Blue, then International Klein Blue before being concluded as International Blue it was made to be," says Warriors Studio. "On top of that ... there's something totally mesmerising about that blue. It's a head-turner!"
The lettering looked to be imposing and create "a larger-than-life impression" much like the sort of global corporations satirised in cartoons—think "ACME" in Looney Tunes.
"I think the vibe reflects our attitudes as people and our ambitions for INTL," says Warriors Studio. "We're aiming for global, epic, innovative, confident, and slightly wild. Hopefully, we can capture this not only through the identity and campaigns but through the curatorial and organisational decisions we make for the festival (International Assembly), posters (International Posters) and awards programme (International Creative Awards).
"INTL is for industry veterans and young guns taking their first steps into the creative industries so for us it will be a continual balancing act to ensure everybody feels seen and isn't alienated by what we're doing."
When the first edition of INTL takes place in 2021 ti will include a programme of conferences, workshops, socials and exhibitions as well as an international awards programme scheduled to open in Spring 2021 with the results announced at the first International Assembly in 2021.