Seattle Documentary Film Festival

Project Duration:
7 weeks

Tools Used:
Photoshop, Indesign, After Effects

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The Seattle Documentary Film Festival was a fun challenge because there is so much content to cover for one campaign. I wanted to give every doc the spotlight it deserved, but without making the campaign feel claustrophobic with too much information. I also wanted to keep the true essence of what a documentary is all about, finding out the truth amongst all these different perspectives. To just look though all the information and at the end come out knowing what lies at the heart of the thing. I felt that out of all different film festivals, documentaries are pretty much no frill and are honest.

My inspiration for the logo for the festival was all about the different layers to a story, and how they come together to make a clear picture. How people’s different perspectives can change your entire outlook, and when two perspectives collide and take you in a different direction and feeling. To execute this I overlaid the type and used blending modes to mix the colors and create new shapes from the type.

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After loosing my mind with color combinations I thought why not just change it to grayscale, with a vast field of yellow behind it. The yellow is symbolic of shining a light on the truth while also giving the letters enough contrast to really stand out. For the typeface I wanted a really bold serif that would showcase the layering effect. I chose to use the typeface Rockwell Bold.

For the poster series I again faced the dilemma of how to incorporate all the different documentaries without making the poster feel cluttered. I also wanted to continue the layering motif that was happening with the festival logo. I also wanted my campaign to be copy driven. When I was trying to think of a tagline and what watching a documentary means for me and others, I kept thinking of myself on the stand swearing I would tell the truth. So I ran with ‘I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ which gave a good base to make my taglines.

Adding to the layering effect, I took stills from all the documentaries and used the typeface Rissa as a mask so all the stills are contained by the type. I chose Rissa because of its subtle texture and thick stroke. Looking at these posters from far away you might think the type has an interesting texture, and when you get closer the image gets clear.

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To further the brand I made an After Effects video which was essentially the poster come to life. Using the same technique as was used on the posters, but instead of using stills the raw footage of the documentaries. I intentionally made the sound really low to begin and slowly growing in noise to simulate the climax of the truth as seen in well made documentaries.

In thinking about collateral that could be purchased at the festival, I wanted to keep it simple and on brand by boldly displaying the taglines, logo and nothing else.

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For the campaign to raise awareness for the festival, I continued with big bold type and my bright canary yellow.

The final piece I created was guerilla marketing. This kiosk would be promoted through the festival’s social media, it would be a kiosk that would move around the city. The festival would send out notice of its general location over social media and if you were one of the first 20 to find it you would get a free ticket to the festival. The video would also be playing on a loop at well as general information about the festival and the films playing.

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