I have to admit, I am extremely proud to have been a part of this project, and be the one to execute such a beautiful brand identity for such an awe inspiring cause, community, and event(s). QINFOLK aims to someday be the Tribeca Film Festival of not only the Queer and Trans community, but the minorities within that community; not only will this serve as a film and art festival that literally provides a stage for this niche community, but it will also serve to provide an outlet to shine the light on mental health within that community, in efforts to seek balance and spark a fire that is much needed.
I’ve had the wonderful pleasure to work with Candace Edwards (Founder of Qinfolk Festival), on other previous projects — from a brand identity and responsive cms website dedicated to provide healthy lifestyle, culture, direction and education for Generation-Y called WILDLY WELL – to ephemera for a rock band pleasantly titled MLT (My Left Tit) out of Brooklyn. Our working relationship has taken us to many different realms, and after some downtime, when she reached out for a new project that aimed to empower a voice that is seldom heard or focused on, I WAS ALL IN! There is nothing greater than to create an identity, especially a brand identity; and when that brand identity has the potential to become a MICROCOSM that can blossom to a COSMOS for these once disenfranchised community, well… There’s something truly exciting about it, that makes me giddy and get those warm and fuzzy feelings as not only a designer, but as a human being that can be a part of change, a shift, a birth of something NEW.
As a true designer, who still embraces the techniques of the old guard, and still holds true to immersive research and hands on execution – it is always a grand pleasure when the project you are presented with invites TYPE. Mmmmm mmmm good! How sweet it is to work on type and going nuts typesetting; there’s nothing like it, finding the perfect type, playing with the deconstruction of it, the reconstruction, appreciating its form, its bare elements, yada yada yada… Sorry, I got lost in the moment of geek-out. There’s something magical about using a letterform for your logo / icon, because you are given that chance to almost reinvent the wheel in your own unique way. When I was given the project, the chosen name, and all the previous assets and attempts to a logotype – my mind immediately went to work:
After being presented with the creative brief, the previous attempts from another designer, mood boards and a breakdown of desires, constant communication and research images, it gave me plenty to work from. This is a case where a client is prepared, and there is no greater relationship than that of a client whom is prepared, and passionate about their project. When a client sees the potential, and helps you see that potential with involvement and clear communication, it just makes the process fun, easy, and pleasant. Ideal client aside, once the name was revealed to me, I instantly saw the “Q” — the “Q” was immediately revealed to me, there are certain projects out there where the answer almost immediately reveals itself and becomes incessantly evident. As stated above there are certain letterforms and typefaces that get the juices of a designer going, the letter Q is one of them.
I could not get this image of a stand alone “Q” out of my head, so instantly I began to play with typefaces to find preliminary type samples in serif and san-serif, and the deconstruction began, and studying its relationship with certain space. After setting up several visual samples and presenting them to the client, we settled on a san-serif “Q” — this allowed me to study several letterform san-serif versions and pick apart its elements. The beauty of this letterform is its true simplicity, its just a circle and a tail; and although simple, my goal was to keep picking this apart until it became even more minimalist exposing its bare essentials to the point that we were no longer exploring letter elements but simple shapes and silhouettes.
The end result is a big and bold DOT with 4 juxtaposed lines that intersect with the large shape. Each line is made to represent 4 letters, which is L-G-B-T, with the final shape meant to not only represent QINFOLK, but the emphasis of QUEER from the LGBT community. The supporting type for the wordmark portion of the logo had to have equal importance to its main icon. The final choice was a bold version of FUTURA, where the V is substituted with an arrowhead, which is meant to point down to the content it is hosting or representing.
In order for QINFOLK to stand out, and have prominence, it needs to live in an environment with ample space – ample padding is key. With all these tools and a clear and concise style guide, Candace Edwards and team had an amazing new logo to not only work with but evolve the brand and festival.
I am proud to say that this past October, the team had their very first QINFOLK FESTIVAL in Ithaca, NY. The event was a smashing success, providing a new found avenue for all these wonderful voices to be heard; and if that is not enough, the team has built an amazing SquareSpace website as well. This project is a true testament that when you create an amazing brand identity, clear communication, and a guide, a passionate team can make wonders with it.