Process and patterns: Sylvan Hillebrand’s Constructive Waves combines the analogue and the digital
Embracing the forward-thinking, under-represented music scene of Enschede, Groningen, Dutch club night Constructive Waves marks the first collaborative endeavour of Raya Recordings and Nachtkantoor, combining the institute’s resources, audiences and talent. Aptly named after constructive wave interference – an act that occurs when two identical wave frequencies and amplitudes collide to form a single, stronger wave – the club night sought to channel the local community’s close bond and passion for music, turning to designer Sylvan Hillebrand.
Harnessing the project’s name as the central theme, Hillebrand pursued the collision and combination of medium, messages and colours across the identity system. The result? A powerfully distinctive and process-led aesthetic exploration of form, style and type. “The typeface used is Helvetica Neue, simply because both organisations use similar grotesque fonts,” the Amsterdam-based creative tells us, utilising the classic sans serif as the driving consistent, cohesive force at the identity’s foundation. “But we also chose it for the fact that we didn’t want to create clashing styles,” Hillebrand continues, “and to make sure the typography isn’t distracting from the patterns,” which form the core abstract, expressive element of the identity.
Constructed through an exact sequence of analogue and digital techniques, the hero patterns that lead the visual output – from social media templates and t-shirts to posters – start as generated images of simulated waves, introduced to symbolise the collaborative context of the event, as well as its community focus. The imagery is then distorted through continuous printing and scanning, eventually culminating in an entirely original kinetic motif that showcases the act of coming together; made distinctive via Hillebrand’s characterful colour combinations.
“We wanted to set a colour scheme that has three bright colours so that they work individually, but also in a modular, repetitive way,” he details, wanting to avoid a single primary colour due to the nature of the event. “The combination of the colours, combined with the dark background and white typography,” Hillebrand concludes, “create individual colour schemes when used on their own,” whilst also resembling lasers or screens.