Croisement Festival

Visual Identity for the French Embassy in China

The Croisement festival is the largest French cultural event in the world and the largest of its kind in China, bringing a wide array of French culture to a growing number of cities. Neither highbrow nor populist, the festival’s mission is to bring innovative cultural productions to China’s general public, with an emphasis on the youth audience. We designed the identity of the festival to appeal to diverse groups within China and represent the spirit of the French festival.

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The challenge

Although the events presented within the festival over the years were extremely popular on an individual basis, there was a lack of association between each production and the festival as a whole. Indeed, many of the attending public had little or no knowledge of the vast nature of the festival. With the 10th anniversary of the festival approaching, they wanted to strengthen and durably anchor this brand within the Chinese cultural landscape.

Our Approach

We embarked on a three-year program to establish a cohesive and distinctive cultural brand. Rather than creating a fancy logo, we decided to focus on what the audience would be most receptive to – the visual identity formed by each year’s key image. To stand out from the competitive landscape, we turned our back to the usual representation of art disciplines and expressed the French cultural flair in bold and striking illustrations showing the DNA and character of the festival – fun, adventurous and free-spirited.

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We started the exercise in 2012, with a simple icon, a tricolored lollipop. The lollipop signified the casual and joyful approach to culture the festival wants to promote. It evokes a sweet moment of a delicacy to be shared. The swirl symbolised the diversity of the programming, ranging from classical music to experimental street art.

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A bold graphic and color palette was applied to communication material. The program is clear, functional and has plenty of space for attractive imagery.

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For the second year of our involvement, we promoted the spirit of adventure and exploration by choosing a flying balloon as the main icon. The strategy proved immediately effective, with a much stronger recognition of the Festival brand among the core audience. The third year will complete the evolving identity, paving the way for a strong 10-year anniversary in 2015.