What does OFFF really mean?

This year's OFFF Barcelona is just around the corner. Taking place 24 - 26 May, the ever-popular design festival promises to delight with a range of innovative and international speakers, plus workshops, activities and performances.

The upcoming event is the eighteenth edition of OFFF Barcelona, and to mark the occasion it's trying to answer a crucial question: just what exactly is OFFF? As well as trying to find some definition through all the talks, Italian artist duo Mathery have puzzled it out with some lateral thinking for the OFFF opening film (teaser above).

Taking the name of the event as a starting point, Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli explored what OFFF would mean if the word was an acronym. Possible ideas have included Oyster Flavoured Food Festival and Orange Fringe Feathers Festival. We talked to the pair about how the project came about...

Three women heads stacked on top of one another

A series of characters feature in the OFFF opening film

"Last year we reached out to OFFF to see if they were interested in having us as speakers," Mathery tells Creative Bloq, "unfortunately all the spots were already taken, but they mentioned that for us they had a different plan… So a week later they got back asking us to design the campaign OFFF2018 and the opening film, it was baller news!"

"There was no brief, we were completely free to do whatever we wanted, which at first was shocking, but we knew it was just the best thing ever!"

As for where the idea for acronyms came from, the pair tell us that "after the moment of panic and excitement…we started the process by analysing the festival and all the campaigns from previous years."

"When doing this research, we realised that none of us were aware of the real meaning of the OFFF acronym, and talking with OFFF we understood that the real meaning is something that doesn’t reflect the festival anymore, for us that was the perfect input to work on."

Screenshot from the opening film

The film has a 'What the hell am I looking at?' feel

The project is Mathery's second short film, and with it they wanted to recreate the feeling of an opening ceremony.

"We wanted the film to respect and represent our aesthetic, with a narrative that doesn’t tell the audience right away where you want them to go, but that gives a bit of suspense and a 'What the hell am I looking at?' feeling that magically disappears at the end where everything comes together."

Details of the rest of the opening film are firmly under wraps, but Mathery was able to give Creative Bloq a taste of what to expect. "If you imagine we gave the OFFF letters a body and soul, what could happen? What are these four characters getting ready for?"

"If with the photographic campaign we have explored the idea of the acronym in a visual way, in the film we went even deeper as the letters that actually dictate the story."

Given that OFFF is a big, globally recognised event, the chance to create the opening film was a great opportunity Mathery didn't want to miss.

"For us it’s been a unique experience to work on this because we rarely get the chance to spend time on projects without creative boundaries, aside from our personal projects. And the fact that OFFF always completely trusted our ideas and taste was gratifying and inspiring. We felt free to push boundaries and we can’t wait to see our images printed on giant canvases and to show our film for the first time to such a cool audience."

Keep up to date with all the latest OFFF news here.

Related articles:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.