Art Direction, Branding, Illustration, UX/UI

WHOLE Festival

Art Direction, UX/UI Design, Illustration Nicola Napoli
Animation Roy Sturdy
Graphic Design Eduardo Rodarte

Creative direction, visual identity and web design for “WHOLE Festival”, Germany’s first queer music event.

The project

Taking place in a lakeside industrial park a few hours outside of Berlin, WHOLE Festival seeks to connect queer collectives from all over the globe under one banner of creativity, passion, pleasure, and above all, good music. Over three full days of camping, DJ sets, workshops, art installations, and skinny dipping, the festival brings together a program of dozens of local and international artists, representing the best in electronic music.
Started as a collaboration between 3 Berlin collectives and now welcoming collectives hailing from China to Uganda, passing by Mexico, Brazil and beyond, WHOLE’s vision is to manifest what most festivals only dream of: the creation of a world all its own.

I was tasked with crafting a fresh visual identity for the upcoming 2023 festival edition. This involved conceptualising and designing a brand-new website, as well as creating a comprehensive set of brand guidelines able to ensure a cohesive and uniform usage across both digital and printed materials.

The new visual identity

The festival’s branding underwent a transformation aimed at capturing its distinctiveness: a celebration of queerness and eclecticism. As I contemplated the festival’s essence, I settled on three key adjectives: vibrant, unexpected, and visionary; these descriptors served as my guiding principles throughout the design process. The new brand identity mixes visual elements inspired by the early ’90s aesthetic with a raving vibe, and adds a touch of mysticism for an enchanting blend. My aim was to craft a visionary realm that mirrors the festival’s unique ambiance and spirit. To bring this vision to life, I employed a dynamic blend of six sophisticated typefaces as primary headers. These were skillfully combined with fluid, animated backgrounds and holographic-sticker illustrations, resulting in a captivating and immersive experience.

Illustration set

The illustration set was created in strict alignment with the core brand guidelines. It envisioned a ‘magical’ ecosystem teeming with natural elements such as suns, flowers, and planets, alongside mythological characters such as wizards, sirens, and giants. The illustration style reproduces the material effect of holographic stickers, aligning with the overall design elements.

Photo treatment and social media guidelines

When I began working on the social media guidelines, my primary goal was to ensure both consistency and a meaningful contribution to the ‘fantastic’ storytelling aspect of the brand identity. To achieve this, we integrated content photos from previous festival editions in the social media campaign showing them as captivating ‘postcards’ from an alternate dimension. Additionally, the portraits of the 26 music collectives were creatively presented as interactive Tarot cards, engaging the audience in a unique visual experience.

Website design

The new website design boasts a comprehensive layout, categorising the entire lineup and cultural program into four main sections: Collectives, Artists (DJs), Performers, and Culture. A floating widget, providing real-time updates on the program, remains consistently accessible in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Printed material and merch

The updated digital asset guidelines were not only applied to online content but also extended to printed materials, including infographics, bar menus, wristbands, and area signs. Furthermore, the illustration set served as the foundation for the festival’s official merchandise.

Festival pictures by:
Manuel Cardozo, Dani D’Ingeo, Andrea Galad, Roni Lugassi, Victor Luque, Rafael Medina, Spyros Rennt, Szymon Stepniak.