Now in its 22nd edition, Offf Barcelona is an annual festival that brings together disciplines ranging from art and design to entertainment and digital culture. As the event marks its return for 2023, it needed a visual identity to encapsulate this mission.
This year’s visual campaign frames the whole three-day festival, appearing on main stage backdrops and giant murals right through to tickets and lanyards, along with promotional material ahead of the event.
The team behind the campaign includes Barcelona-based design and brand studio and long-time Offf collaborators Vasava; 3D motion design studio Found Studio; and creative audio studio Combustion.
Found creative director Clayton Welham was initially approached to speak at the conference, before Vasava asked if the studio would be interested in collaborating on the wider identity.
“Our brief was to look at Offf, and all it offers its audience, as a cabinet of curiosities. A container for varied experiences such as talks, workshops and exhibitions,” Welham tells CR. “We were asked to develop the ‘cabinet’ and bring to life unique experiences inside each of its compartments.”
“The festival was at the heart of our concept,” Welham continues. “We knew our response needed to be modular, split across multiple applications and released incrementally as a build up to the festival, so we looked at what Offf stands for to extract key points to focus on.”
Taking these points, the studio wrote a short narrative of six steps, with each chapter theme pointing to the creative process and the opportunity the festival offers its audience for creative learning, growth and development. The final chapter titles are Discovery, Entertainment, Insight, Process, Connections and Mastery.
“There is also a development story here, with each of the chapters adding up to what we might expect by attending the festival. Gaining confidence, experience and learnings throughout, we build out a positive journey representative of three days at Offf Festival,” says Welham.
Presented with the challenge of representing the complexity of the Offf audience, the creative team landed on the most basic of 3D forms: the humble cube. “Vasava came to us with a key concept already in mind – a luminous cube with an RGB tritone design, a reference to RGB screen pixels,” explains Found designer, Karolis Arbaciauskas.
“Knowing that it would travel through the ‘curiosity’ spaces, we began to look at it as a representation of the viewer visiting Offf, and started to explore ways to make it a bit more sentient and curious in its behaviour.”
The team looked at different combinations of the RGB configuration, and ultimately landed on a design with an ‘inner brain’ mechanism. “The inner brain scans its surroundings and playfully engages in the spaces, symbolising the experience of the audience at Offf,” says Arbaciauskas.
Welham also highlights the vital role of Found’s collaborators in bringing their individual specialisms to the table. “We’ve worked really closely with Enric, Bruno and Fardoe at Vasava to push the original concept along,” he says. “Audio elevates our work so much, it’s 50% of the experience of film and animation work. The team at Combustion Studio have brought texture, depth (and at times hardcore beats) to the project, which has rounded the whole process off nicely.”