Did you go to the Reading Festival over the long weekend? How about the Leeds Festival? Instead, maybe you caught headliners like The Cure, Kasabian and The Foo Fighters on television, or online? Whatever the case, you might well have noticed the new logos for both festivals - which are run by Festival Republic - that have been created by London design studio Form.
Though the red and yellow colour scheme has been maintained, the new look does away with the black of the old logos (which you can see at the festivals' websites) and also demonstrates the kind of straightforward-yet-sublime design thinking Form has become known for. "We created a graphic language with chevron arrows representing Reading, pointing south, and Leeds, pointing north," explains Form co-founder Paula Benson. "The entire logo runs vertically to emphasise this. This vertical orientation also sets it apart from many other festival promotions."
The new look is aligned with a slight shift in the marketing direction the festivals' promoter is going to take in coming years. Form were aiming for something youthful and appealing, without being patronising or 'tricksy', while still recognising the festivals' rock heritage. Nirvana, Meatloaf and Rage Against the Machine have all rocked these iconic stages.
The studio designed the type themselves, including a distressed effect. Meanwhile, the colour scheme was stipulated in the client's brief for some continuity. After all, the new identity has been introduced for the live stages before appearing online. Benson continues: "The yellow and red colour scheme of the old logos are key signifiers, so we brought those same colours forward into the new identity. Reading is predominantly red with yellow logos and Leeds vice versa. However, the client was quite specific about having less black!"
With the new logos appearing on the stage livery itself last weekend, other elements of the new identity will be rolled out in due course - online, on posters and on the tickets themselves as next year's events are marketed.
"Rebranding Reading and Leeds Festivals has been an honour - they are the original rock festivals, a major fixture in the festival calendar, loved by bands and festival goers alike, and designing a stage scrim especially is a dream for any designer who loves music," adds partner Paul West. "We appreciate there was a strong infinity with the existing logo but the client was becoming increasingly aware of its limitations."
You can read our interview with Form from earlier this year, when they celebrated their 21st anniversary, here.