Green Man Festival: Brand Relationship

We built a new brand identity with Green Man in 2013 and we’ve been putting it into action ever since.

What language would Green Man speak?

The Brand’s Roots

Green Man’s success as a brand really comes from the consistency of its organisers’ vision and passion. Building upon these solid roots has been a joy.

Now in its fourteenth year, Green Man is a brilliantly-kept annual promise. We came onboard to bring Green Man's visual identity up to the rich standards of the festival itself.

Not every brand has the opportunity to invite its audience to physically step into a world of its creation. We wanted to see Green Man make more of its mythical appeal, so after much channelling of founder Fiona Stewart's pagan references, we decided to invent a 'new ancient language' for the brand. This would help us confirm Green Man's tribal relationship with its existing community, whilst also signalling to newcomers that Green Man is somewhere you must visit to comprehend.

We started with a map, working closely with the Green Man team to consolidate old areas and re-name new ones, ten in total, blessing each with a symbol.

Black Symbols
Sims

The modular nature of the identity gets across an important truth; that Green Man is the sum of its constituent parts.

Woodblock Image
Bag
Far Out
Map Symbols

The symbols are used to signal the locations of each area, but they’re also used by the audience to display an emotional connection to Green Man.

Leg

“People love it. We hear so many positive things from everyone about the identity.”

Ben Coleman
Festival Promoter, Green Man

Anna

Using the voice instead of the face

Tone through Typography

Urge You Burn

Rather than limit the Green Man to a literal face, we created a typeface to assert his omnipresent booming voice.

In search of the perfect voice we stumbled across a dusty old type specimen with the right chunky primitivism we were after. We then added a few Celtic quirks, turned it into a woodblock typeface, printed it and digitised the scuffed physical prints into a working font.

Although it would have been easier to create a sharp computer font from the drawings, we wanted the typeface to have an authentic weathered quality to hint at the festival's ancient outdoor roots. It's become one of the most iconic aspects of the Green Man identity, used across everything from billboards to parking permits.

Printing
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Signpost
Wrist
Live In

“Lovers’ attention to detail is wonderful. They really care about Green Man, and our audience picks up on that care in all of the beautiful work.”

Fiona Stewart
Director, Green Man

Walled Garden

Green Man uses a tone of voice somewhere between ancient celestial deity and Lord of Misrule, something we’ve helped to develop.

Come Follow
Poem
IMG

Taking people to the heart of the jungle

Visualising Green Man

We got inspired by ancient folk art and pagan monsters. This became the starting point for the creation of a rich and wild illustrated Green Man world.

Mood
Sarah Nature Nurture

Each area was designed as if it were a real place. We went into mountains of detail so that the mythology about these bizarre lands could really take hold.

Sarah Map
Parking Permits
Car Hanger
Box Office Sarah
Growler
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Postcards

The artwork is where we can tell rich stories about each area, embedding the symbols into these worlds as if they’ve always existed.

Little Folk Symbol
Little Folk 1

Visual reinvention: Folklore & Rumour

Campaign Artwork

Every year we invite a different artist to create a new interpretation of Green Man world, allowing its details to warp and evolve like rumours over the years.

As a pagan deity the Green Man is all about rebirth and seasonal cycles. The festival's customary annual artwork isn't a reinvention each time so much as the return of a season; always the same, but never the same.

You know a brand's in good health when people start approaching it to ask whether they can join in. We love bringing a new angle to the brand each year because it's a way of expanding on the things that make Green Man special, rather than trying to replace them every year.

The intention is always to embrace the idiosyncrasies of each artist, and to establish an idea that will allow the year to play out in new ways. In 2014 this involved creating a family of 'Bringers' each of whom was responsible for a different facet of the festival's offering.

The Breeze Bringer, Bounty Bringer, Song Bringer, Heart Bringer, Wonder Bringer and Cackle Bringer appeared one-by-one and together throughout the year's communication. We also set them in different animated scenarios bringing them to life.

Bringers
Billboard
Mountain Stage
Bounty Badge
GM14 Prog Cover

The big screens across the festival site give us a great opportunity to bring the year’s artwork to life in a series of short and fun visual stories.

Animation is such a powerful tool. The beauty of bringing the Green Man artwork to life with movement is that once you look back at the static artwork, it's alive in your head.

Once the festival's general artwork is well underway we start thinking about what might happen if it was all allowed to move. This leads us to come up with different scenarios that begin as mini scripts and end up us short stings lasting less than 30 seconds each. We also animate a number of practical messages each year, from the Green Man radio broadcast info to the recycling policy at the festival. It's a great way to reach people.

Prog 2015

To encourage folkloric storytelling within the Green Man community, use the programme to amplify everybody’s stories about the festival.

Memories

The Green Man website has to continue the high standards upheld across all of the brand’s other communications.

Visit Green Man 2015

“This website alone makes me want to go the festival. #GreenMan

@drewfellows
https://twitter.com/drewfellows/status/569674249129975808

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The Green Man team puts lots of energy into its Social Media presence, using custom visual posts as much as possible.

We thought it would be great to create an authentic Super 8 film of Green Man 2014, capturing its halcyon glow on film. A great piece of content to share online.

We’re now working with Green Man to explore different ways for the festival areas to exist outside of Green Man.

Courtyard

For Green Man's Beer & Cider festival at King's Cross we created an identity that would frame it as a new event whilst also letting Londoners know that Green Man was in town.

Building on the brand's penchant for mythical beasts we developed a copy-led approach presenting the event as "one beast of a beer fest". The Green Man typeface received a blow-dry and transformed into a fluffy version that would balance our need to signal Green Man's involvement whilst also bringing a new look.

Fur Arrow
Courtyard TOV

Royal Court Theatre

NSPCC