Designed by James Brook for Edinburgh Art Festival, 2020 – ongoing
Booklets | 297 x 210 mm | variable page count
Printed by Edinburgh Copyshop on 120 gsm matt digital stock
I collaborated with the Community Engagement team at Edinburgh Art Festival on DIY Art, a series of activity packs from EAF and selected artists, that invite people to get creative at home. The instructional creativity kits give insights into an artist’s practice, showing how to use their processes and techniques to create unique artworks.
For the series, I created an identity that has a DIY/homemade aesthetic but is underpinned by a cool, pared-back rationality that reflects the previous work I have done with the Festival. The brief was to create a simple contemporary design that was flexible and could accommodate different types of information but that would still present a cohesive series appealing to children, teenagers and adults alike. Produced during lockdown, a major consideration was that, although a number of packs were being printed and distributed by the Festival, most would be downloaded and printed at home so I took care to keep the artwork within standard print margins and not to use areas of unnecessary flat colour that would drink up lots of ink!
As a starting point, the Festival gave me some examples of activity packs from other arts organisations to look at, which gave me some clues for the initial direction of the design, particularly the choice of typeface: a common feature of the packs was the use of simple, geometric sans serif typefaces. Having assembled a list of appropriate typefaces I then started to think about the DIY element and how this could be expressed in the design. I was thinking about rubber stamps, potato prints and other DIY printing techniques so I started to investigate display typefaces that carried this aesthetic. Using an initial selection of typefaces I developed a series of logos, eventually settling on a circular motif, hopefully reminiscent of a potato print. I presented a shortlist of iterations using different typefaces to the team at EAF and we finally settled on Metallophile Sp8, designed by Mark Simonson, not only for the logo but also for the typesetting of the text inside.
The text and images for the activity instruction pages from each artists are quite different, requiring a different approach for each pack, but all packs have elements that are consistent, and are underpinned by the same grid, making a cohesive, connected series that also respects the artists’ very different practices.
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Housemates by Sofia Niazi
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Waiting Painting by Alexa Hare
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Wow Orange by Naomi Garriock
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Hello by Peter Liversidge
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Feeling Lost, Feeling Found by Pester & Rossi
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit Drawing: Explore and Expand by Louise K Fraser
DIY Art Home Creativity Kit A Float for the Future by Pester & Rossi
Holly Yeoman, Community Engagement Manager, Edinburgh Art Festival: I have been working with James since 2020 to develop Edinburgh Art Festival’s DIY Art home creativity kit series, which through their strong identity, visual appeal and easy-to-use format, designed by James, have supported us to introduce artist’s practice and process to audiences, helping us to maintain and grow our audience through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. I always look forward to working with James.