Since 1978, Dance Umbrella has been a force of creative energy in London, attracting over one million audience members to its eclectic performances. They came to O Street to shake things up for their 38th international dance festival, and festivals to follow.
While they didn’t need a full brand overhaul, the festival look lacked the spark of its performances. We gave Dance Umbrella’s static logo a facelift with loads of hand-brushed swashes to better reflect its motto; Moving London.
What Dance Umbrella needed most of all was a design system to use across all of their materials. We worked out a typographic direction to sit nicely with the brushed logo—creating a distinct visual style—which we then applied with the design of their programme.
For 2022—the second year under artistic director Freddie Opoku-Addaie—we created a unique piece of print that featured all of the major performances on the cover. It then unfolds to reveal details. After hosting the festival at home during the pandemic, Opoku-Addaie wanted a unique piece of print that would stand out. With many enterprises sidelining print altogether, it certainly raised eyebrows.
The brand refresh used brushstrokes that were all handmade, which gave us a nice excuse to roll up our sleeves and make a mess of the studio. We even followed that up with a little dance.