LEÓN ROMERO’s festival identity for 2913 is unbeholden to existing contemporary creative biases
Commissioned by the Canary Islands’ Department of Culture, Barcelona-based visual communication studio LEÓN ROMERO have developed the structural, technicality-imbued identity for Veintinueve Trece, Lanzarote’s festival of photography and visual arts – a name amended by the creative studio to ‘2913’ for 2021’s celebration. Forged by the festival’s evolving theme of ‘periphery,’ interpreted by 2913’s curators as an exploration of marginalisation and the creativity of minority communities, LEÓN ROMERO took to shape a visual identity that is similarly unbeholden to existing creative biases – opening their eyes to new aesthetics whilst challenging the classic conventions of what is seen as ‘good design.’
As a result, 2913’s identity is an undeniably distinctive exploration of creative expression in the context of our fundamentally digital existence, manifesting in a systematic, generative aesthetic that seems both personally familiar and graphically uncomfortable, asking the audience to challenge their own expectations of design as LEÓN ROMERO did. Typically, these visual explorations manifest through the semi-anarchic contrast of programmed imagery, sparse use of colour, and the rigid formal systematisation of typography – displaying further contrast through the creative reference to the printed stereotypes of tabloid papers, in essence merging the theme’s analogue and digital contexts.
Discussing the use of type within the identity, Founders Jorge León and Mikel Romero tell us their decision-making – opting for sans serif Allianz by Extraset and Extratype’s monospace ASM. “We love how Allianz works on different sizes and weights (although we set it all in bold),” León and Romero explain, “and for the monospace we wanted to try it in a non-classical way,” subsequently applying the latter across the body text as well as large-scale typographic expression. “The combination of both typefaces was perfect for us,” they conclude, “in order to communicate the festival’s 2021 edition conceptualisation.”