Edinburgh Art Festival Commissions Programme 2021
Designed by James Brook for Edinburgh Art Festival, 2021

3 leaflets | 210 x 165 mm – flat size 210 x 492 mm | 6 pages roll folded
1 booklet | 210 x 165 mm | 24 pages plus cover
Printed by Allander, Edinburgh, on Edixion Offset 160 gsm

Printed matter that I designed for the Edinburgh Art Festival Commissions Programme 2021 interpretation material. Each year Edinburgh Art Festival invites Scottish and international artists to make and present new projects specifically for the festival. in 2021, EAF collaborated with a range of partners to support and present a programme of new commissions and UK premieres by artists working in Scotland, UK and internationally. The programme featured the UK premiere of Isaac Julien’s Lessons of Hour, in partnership with National Galleries Scotland; a new project, Tak Tent O’ Time Ere Time Be Tint, by Sean Lynch, co-commissioned with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; a sound installation, Song of the Union by Emeka Ogboh, co-commissioned with Talbot Rice Gallery; and What happens to desire…, curated by EAF associate artist, Tako Taal. 

The printed matter that I designed consists of one booklet and three leaflets, and was designed to present a cohesive identity for the commissions programme that is distinct from the main EAF identity and also highlights the contributions of the partner organisations. Unlike previous EAF commissions, there is no over-riding theme to this year’s programme so my design does not reflect a theme, instead it presents a common typographic stye and layout that is adaptable to the different content of each piece of print. Different logos from each partnership organisation (Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Talbot Rice Gallery and National Galleries Scotland) had to sit well with the recently introduced new EAF logo and other typographic information – a balancing act, often with three different typefaces in play. 

I selected Proxima Nova as the typeface for this series as it has some similarities to the typeface that appears in the new EAF logo, but is sufficiently different that the designs are not solely linked to EAF but give equal weight to the partner commissioning organisations. I used a pared back palette of colour and type and suggested a new commissioning credit line that helps brings the partner organisation to the fore. Different weights of Proxima Nova were used to create a hierarchy of information and full bleed images from each commission have been used to create impact. The leaflets (for Isaac Julien, Sean Lynch, and Emeka Ogboh) are 8 page double-gatefolds, folded to 165mm x 210 mm while the What happens to desire… booklet is 24 pages plus cover, trimmed to the same size – this is the size of the books, booklets, and leaflets that I have designed for EAF in previous years, building a connected set of print that documents the Edinburgh Art Festival’s growing series of artists’ commissions.

Emeka Ogboh: Song of the Union

Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour
Sean Lynch: Tak Tent O' Time Ere Time Be Tint
What happens to desire…
Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival: We have worked with James Brook on a number of different festival design projects since 2014, ranging from substantial exhibition catalogues, smaller interpretation booklets and leaflets, through to devising bespoke identities for discrete projects and initiatives. He has a wealth of knowledge of typography, graphic design, print and book production, is incredibly thoughtful and considered in his approach, and always responds to a brief with creativity and rigour in equal measure. I can’t recommend him highly enough.
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