Method Designs San Francisco International Film Festival's New Identity

Method Designs San Francisco International Film Festival's New Identity

Method, the bi-coastal design and branding practice, is responsible for the San Francisco International Film Festival's (SFIFF) new identity. The Festival runs from April 20th to May 4th 2006.

Method, known for its innovative branding ideas, developed an entirely new identity for this year's festival.

"It is a total departure from the look of previous festivals and it's brilliant," says Festival director, Graham Leggat.

Method's brief was to "take the SFIFF into the 21st century." The logo-type uses a hard-edged, solid type with a constructivist edge that gives it a bold, international dimension and contrasts with the simple font choice used in promotion pieces. Method used a sophisticated color palette (pale shades of green, yellow, blue and lilac, punctuated by a vivid orange) and graphics that evoke film data and imagery. The new designs provide SFIFF with combinations that work across a whole spectrum of media and formats.

Method's work debuts on the festival's website,

From early April print ads, posters, bus sides, bus queens, and banners will be seen throughout the city. Postcards, flyers, invitations, tickets, programs, passes will all receive the Method treatment, as will the festival program, T-shirts, event signage, and venue graphics.

In addition, Method designed an intriguing motion graphics identity for the festival which will be shown in-theater, on the web, and in broadcast trailers. Starting on opening day, April 20th , and continuing throughout the 15-day long festival, the trailers will also be broadcast on an oversize LED screen in San Francisco's Union Square.

Kevin Farnham, CEO of Method says, "SFIFF is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, but it is modernizing to become more contemporary and more global. The design is intended to signal a shift in the way the festival is positioned. It was also vital to come up with a design identity that could easily be adapted to the wide range of different applications required."

Farnham adds, "The identity is based on "transformation". Watching a film is a transformative experience ­ it gives us a new perspective. It also represents the transformation of screenplay, shots, voice, scene, into a single linear experience; technology is changing how we make, access and watch film. The festival is also beginning its own transformation."

Graham Leggat says, "Method exceeded our expectations. The SFIFF is a celebration of "exploration and discovery." We wanted a radical break with the past, and something new and contemporary. I expected excellent work but nothing prepared me for how inventive Method's designs would be. There is emotional immediacy via the clever choice of images, informational immediacy, and design effectiveness across the collateral. Method has a rigorous grasp of information design and that's obvious in everything they have produced.

"Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the SFIFF, the first US film festival to reach this milestone. We are very interested in new platforms, new media, new audiences. San Francisco is America's film and media frontier, there's a certain edginess here, from youth media to experimental and independent film makers, to the presence of LucasFilm in The Presidio and Pixar just across the Bay. Method understands that, and with their knowledge and experience, we can build on these designs for the future," adds Leggat.

The San Francisco International Film Festival has presented the best in world cinema since 1957. Now the Festival presents nearly 200 films from over 50 countries and reaches tens of thousands of film lovers, filmmakers, industry representatives and journalists with screenings in San Francisco, Berkeley and the Palo Alto. The Festival highlights current trends in international film and video production with an emphasis on work that has not yet secured U.S. distribution.

For Method, the work is a "labor of love", an expression of the company's enthusiasm for the art of moviemaking and for the city itself. It helps too, says Kevin Farnham, that "Graham has the experience and design knowledge to be a partner when furthering the designs." The two companies worked together when Leggat oversaw publicity, marketing, and design at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.



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