The UK-based design agency, Passport Design Bureau, created the enchanting branding identity and collateral materials for the Open City Documentary Festival. The campaign champions the art of non-fiction filmmakers by tapping into a contemporary yet documentary style of design through photography, spray paint-inspired graphics and a black and white color scheme paired with vivid hues. The result is an identity system that genuinely speaks to the festival yet doesn’t overshadow the films themselves.
Celebrating the art of non-fiction, Open City Documentary Film Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of creative documentary and non-fiction filmmakers. The organisation aims to challenge and expand the idea of documentary in all its forms by providing a platform for emerging talent as well as established masters working within the documentary form. The festival consists of international contemporary and retrospective non-fiction film, audio and cross media, as well as filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, workshops, networking and parties.
Due to the covid pandemic, the 2020 festival had to be reimagined as a digital edition for the first time. This year, films were screened online in blocks which were available to rent as a set, or as individual films. Open City required a refresh of the visual identity that would continue to reflect documentary film as an art form, but in a new and fresh way. We created a spray paint graphic asset (that conceptually helped to achieve a literal connection with ‘art’), and combined the signature neon red we introduced a couple of years ago with a new vibrant palette to achieve this.
We also created a fully responsive online platform to contain the festival, as well as a printed programme that was sent to ticket holders to help elevate the festival experience.
As the festival had to exist entirely online, we also created two interactive microsites for special events ‘Expanded Realities’ & ‘Voyages’. For Expanded Realities, the brief was to create an online exhibition, so we used a map layout to create the feeling of walking through different gallery rooms to view each exhibit.
Voyages was one of these exhibits, and we created a second fully responsive microsite that took the form of an interactive essay, using various visual elements and functionality within the text to make it feel fully immersive for the viewer.
Alongside these key pieces of the visual identity, we also designed posters, Zoom backgrounds, digital slides for awards ceremonies, delegate packs, accreditation, adverts, social media content, merchandise, awards laurels, iconography and a post-festival report.
Passport Design Bureau