Night Lights Denver is an initiative for The Denver Theatre District to support artists while giving people a free unique art exhibit every night. Wonder Werkz design studio has united architecture and technology to create a dynamic and approachable motion art show that isn't like anything we've seen before. This exhibit stands out against a sea of mediocre billboards and creates an experience beyond the typical stagnant downtown advertisement. "Innovative" is an understatement.
When we (Wunder Werkz) were approached for Night Lights, the challenge was to create an identity that was designed to fit on the unique aspect ratio of the notable Daniels & Fisher Tower in downtown Denver, but with enough flexibility that it could be used at multiple other Denver buildings in the future. The identity needed to be dynamic enough to catch the eye of the passing public and broad enough to support a varied and constantly changing group of visual artists.
We began with a geometric, flexible type that could fit to a wide variety of aspect ratios and would lend itself to various motion treatments. The Daniels & Fisher Tower is a unique form, 20 stories with a tall and narrow form. It was our imperative to get the desired information, interstitials, branding and credits onto this unique shape and make sure that the system would work on future building forms. Once we identified our major touch-points, we set to work on the typographic systems. The font has 16 different weights with each letterform fitting within a specific rectilinear grid, the angular and rectilinear forms fit easily within varied building facades and the lines work well with diverse architectural features.
We also worked with a graduated color palette that could make small changes in tone and color build as the day, season and lighting changed. The focus was on bright, eye-catching colors that transverse the warm and cold spectrum and would give the project a wide variety of color options with high contrast on various colored building facades, and throughout seasonal color changes. Cool colors for the warm Colorado sunset, warm colors for the Colorado winters and dynamic shift change to stand out from the chaotic advertising of downtown.
From there, we brought the whole identity to life with a system of eye-catching motion graphics for interstitials, brand and artist introductions. The variable weight font was used to create kinetic typography with weight and fluid shifts that are an eye-catching break from the visual clutter in the downtown area. The system was not only used on the tower but also motion bus ads, theater marquis and internet marketing – all utilizing dynamic movement to bring the brand to life.
Why is this project notable
Night Lights is nothing if not unique – it democratizes access to motion art, activates a public forum in a diverse way and brings together technology and architecture to create a unique art experience, nightly. The design challenges were also unique – create a system that would work across multiple dimensions, multiple facades, within a changing environment and still stand-apart from the chaos of a downtown area.
We allowed architecture and technology to inform and develop typography and brand systems in a way that is dynamic, broad and preeminent. Night Lights is able to express itself in multiple forms, while still maintaining a uniquely recognizable identity. The letter forms are readable from varied angles and can be excited to create movement in a number of different ways and the color system can be varied for seasonal and environmental effects.
Overall, the project was designed to be fun, recognizable and create a platform for the people of Denver to interact with art and design in a new and diverse way while giving artists a public forum to present unique motion work.
Designed by Wonder Werkz