For the 2021 Festival DesignTO continues to work with with aftermodern.lab for a refreshed brand identity. This new look and feel honours our past and looks forward to our future. We caught up with Anthony Campea, Principal, Design & Illustration at aftermodern.lab to find out how it all came together.

What was the inspiration for this year’s look and feel?

This year’s look and feel was a careful assessment of past years. We looked to answer two crucial questions visually: how do we create a visual aesthetic that is an evolution of the Festival’s history? And, how do we create a modular illustrated “set” that can handle the various deliverables and approaches of the Festival?

How does this year’s identity compare to last year’s? Are there any similarities?

This year’s design has a strong focus on modular illustrations. The colour palette was more focused on the idea of warmth, in contrast to the cold temperatures of Canadian winters.

How would you describe the design process?

This year we approached the design with three disciplines: a designer/illustrator, a designer/painter, and an illustrator/fabricator. Each maker approached the design problem with their own processes and skill sets, delivering a visual palette and illustrated forms that reflect a multi-disciplinary studio.

When creating the refreshed look and feel, how did you maintain the core identity of the DesignTO brand?

The evaluation of the past year’s visual identity and the multi-disciplinary approach to the process helped us focus on the Festival’s overall concept: a culmination of design exhibition, appreciation, and education across all disciplines.

Were there any challenges you faced along the way?

The biggest challenge was creating a fresh and warm colour palette that could support the illustrative, layered approach to this year’s visual concept while maintaining AODA standards, specifically contrast.

What are your favourite elements of the completed design?

The layering is our favourite element: the relationships between organic and metric shapes, type and illustration, foreground and background. The variation available in the visual concept’s execution across all mediums is an open expression of the visual relationships that strengthen any visual design approach.