Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Programme

Back in March of this year, the smart people* behind the Fringe Festival asked Scottish illustrator, Johanna Basford to sit in a room for 12 hrs (twice) and draw. They then asked the tweeting public what quirky sites they'd like to see at this year's Edinburgh Festival.
They set up a camera and a live internet link and Johanna picked out the most random suggestions as they piled in through the live feed. She drew 176 suggestions out of 1675; these make up the shape of the recognisable Fringe font.
If you are a fan of the festival or live in Edinburgh you'll realise the enormity of having your work on the cover of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival programme. Even though this particular festival only lasts for the month of August; every coffee table, hotel reception, shop counter, bar, restaurant, café, festival venue, and poster in the city will feature the artwork from now until the last firework pops in the late summer sky just over the barracks of Edinburgh Castle...
Personally, I'm a massive fan of this type of illustration. Every time you look at it you see something new. I wish I could doodle so well. You can see more of Johanna's work here including the graphics for independent Scottish brewers BrewDog.
Clever marketing huh? Commission local talent. Check. Interact with the public. Check. Use a very current media communication system. Check. Stream it live on the internet. check. Originally, Johanna had completed a couple of what she calls TwitterPictures as previous personal projects but kudos to the Fringe team for jumping on the bandwagon and spreading the word to the masses.
By the way, my suggestion was a bramble berry shaking a cocktail and can be seen in the top left hand corner of the 'g'...I was going for subliminal advertising for my husband's cocktail bar, Bramble...wonder if it'll work...

In the end they went for three different covers (below) with a stream of illustrations rather than the font but i'm hoping to see the illustrated type on other graphic bits and pieces around town (especially the g)...

They've also made a nice little video explaining how it was all done.

* turns out those smart people were whitespace!

all images from

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  1. Love it and so proud of my old company Whitespace for coming up with the idea. My wee dog chasing flying sausages is in the corner of the E. And my hedgehog rolling on his back is at the top of the R. Can't wait to get the programme for this year.

  2. Nice post. It was actually the smart people at Whitespace that came up with the idea of using Johanna's Twitterpicture concept for the cover and did all the clever technical bits. Definitely worth giving them a mention!


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