Once a year, the beautiful city of Breda hosts the Graphic Design Festival Breda. This event explores current developments in the field of graphic visual culture. During this fifth edition of the festival, from 25 September to 25 October 2015, young talented designers, established names, current issues and inspiring designs were highlighted in exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops.
Graphic designers influence our daily life. From advertising, websites and packaging: designers create it all. To you they are total strangers, but they largely determine how you see the world. What is their attitude during the design process? Why do they make what they make? Which roles characterize them? These questions were asked during the festival. During this edition, the role of the designer was more important than ever. That’s why this year’s topic was “Introducing Current Characters”. Below you can read about the exhibitions that I enjoyed the most.
Deconstructed chaos is the new visual order.
Typewood is an exposition about typography with an industrial feel. It’s about multi-colored letters, wood, analogue & digital and deconstructed typography. Organized by Novo Typo from Amsterdam and situated in the beautiful café/shop Brandpunt.
Blind Walls Gallery
The city wall is a prominent feature in Breda’s earliest painted cityscape. This wall gave the city prestige and was a symbol of freedom, trade and prosperity. Now the old wall has largely disappeared. The walls that currently define the city’s appearance are often dull and gray. By applying graffiti in a curated way, the Blind walls gallery offers a creative solution. My favorite one is Molsparking, the one with the rat. This mural is inspired by the sinister history of the location. The parking used to be a graveyard for people that died from the plague. The rat – carrier of the disease – symbolizes this. Goosebumps!
Resolute – design changes
Religion, politics and money have strongly influenced graphic design. A technologically driven communication scramble turned graphic designers into key influencers of behavior and opinions. Now existing structures are being questioned more than ever, it seems like other forces are shaping graphic design. A counter reaction submerges, allowing graphic designers to take up their social responsibility in connecting ideas, information and people. The exhibition was parted into three chapters: Revolt, Review, and Refresh.
Revolt – notion by confrontation shows how designers are trying to confront their audiences by mixing fiction and reality into a clear statement. By doing so, they hope to start the debate about certain topics by making them noticeable for the audience.
Christopher Hope & Kenji Nakayama hand painted homeless people new versions of their own signs. In this way homeless people become more noticeable and this allows the audience to think and talk about the deeper social roots of homelessness and poverty.
Dog and Pony Amsterdam & Sue Amsterdam and their Frist World Problem Pills.
Next Nature inspired a debate on the future of our foods and the way we produce meat right now. Through a cookbook about in vitro meat they showed us what can happen, and what is happening right now with our loved cows/steaks.
The chapter Review – grip by information shows work of designers who desire transparency and openness. They show this by making work based on independent information and research. Their aim is to help the audience understand the core of issues and options around us. Complicated topics become something that anyone can understand.
Artus Beifuss and Francesco Trivini Bellini made a book about terrorist branding. Terrorist use their branding in the same way as most other organizations do. This book covers branding in a way it’s never covered before. In a way it shows those terrorists are just people, like you and me.
During a Masterclass about the branding, Arthur Beifuss challenged designers and branding specialists to dive into this subject and the results were very interesting.
Refresh – affect by motivation
In the last character Refresh – affect by motivation designers aim to give the audience tools for immediate action. They connect the audience, and give them a way for distributing a shared thought or attitude in a way that a difference can be made. The designer helps stories to be told and even help people to start their revolutions.