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Logo and branding for a historic preservation festival powered by volunteers and sponsors.
Tom Sawyer Fest is a festival for people who want to make their town a better place. Armed with paint rollers, brushes, and genuine enthusiasm, activists from 50 towns and cities strive to preserve the look and feel of historic streetscapes.
Thanks to the fest, over a hundred building facades have been renovated.
Each year, more and more towns and cities join the festival. We needed to come up with a branding concept that would bring together large numbers of new volunteers and sponsors and, at the same time, reinforce the event’s uniqueness and recognition.
The driving force behind the fest is volunteers, and most objects are created by hand. We wanted the new logo to reflect that “handcrafted” feel. We contacted font gurus from Design Weekend, held a competition, and chose the lettering which we liked best.
We digitized and modified the lettering. The paint roller texture became the core of the visual identity. This metaphorical technique creates the effect of an inscription hand-drawn by a writer or street artist.
Now we put everything together: the lettering, the texture, and the bright colors. The result is a logo that can be easily transformed, depending on the number of characters in the city name, by changing the size of the panel. Next, we create an abbreviated logo and an English-language version. Voilà: we’ve made a recognizable, vivid, and unique logo!
The fest already had its own rich accent color. We perfected it a bit, to make sure that it looks great both in print and in digital format, and also added a calm complementary color.
Put together, these two colors emphasize the brightness of the festival: banners and signs will be clearly visible to both pedestrians and passing drivers, which will help draw the residents’ attention to an unusual but important problem of preserving the historic appearance of their hometown.
We selected two modern typefaces with a wide variety of weights: Montserrat as the main typeface, and Macho Black as the display typeface. Their main advantage is being immediately recognizable and easily readable wherever they are displayed, whether it’s a computer screen, or a street banner.
We created a system for designing plaques that are placed on renovated buildings. Individual blocks are put together to create a perfect plaque carrying all necessary information, from historical background to sponsors’ logos.