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The Brand’s Roots
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.
Festival Promoter, Green Man
Tone through Typography
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.
Director, Green Man
Visualising Green Man
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.
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.
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.