Antwerp Art Weekend had to reinvent its identity for 2021 due to the effects of COVID. Working with Vrints-Kolsteren, the festival’s branding system leaned into an overly optimistic and bright identity focused on amplifying joy through an interesting graphical system. The bright colors and geometric patterns are highly engaging without even knowing what it’s for, but once you realize it’s for an art-based event, the intrigue quickly intensifies.
2020 would be the year Antwerp Art Weekend would launch its new website, offering for the first time a tailor-made, user-friendly digital version of the program. In addition to a printed booklet, which had been the norm for four years. The pandemic-induced crisis and multiple lockdowns have left us locked in the house for many hours that we normally wouldn’t be, forced to find joy and entertainment in our environment, but most importantly distraction through the black screens indoors.
A big part of the Antwerp Art Weekend is the visual identity, which evolves and changes with each edition, and how that identity radiates to an audience. So after Antwerp Art decided that they would cancel and not postpone, thus handing over the visual campaign for 2020, the thought that our 2021 edition had to present itself significantly differently became clear.
Fall and winter are notoriously the dark seasons and with the Antwerp Art Weekend taking place in May, we had to bridge them and overcome an unexpected year of quite dark times.
Therefore, Antwerp art and design studio Vrints-Kolsteren wanted the 2021 visual campaign to convey the opposite by using a bright and lavish color scheme to suggest and amplify joy. Vrints-Kolsteren started by expanding the grid by breaking it down into smaller blocks, which meant more tiles and lines to puzzle with, making the design more playful. This resulted in each item looking completely different, while maintaining coherence in the identity as a whole by sticking to the ground rules. The aim was to imbue the design with this feeling and convey it to visitors and passers-by, thus serving as a light at the near end of this tunnel.