Responses by Matthew Tweddle, creative director, Only
Background: The British Academy is the UK authority on the humanities and social sciences, and the study of peoples, cultures and societies. The Academy’s Summer Showcase is an annual celebration of pioneering research from across the humanities and social sciences. Fifteen interactive exhibits are hosted alongside pop-up talks, workshops and performances to bring the best new research to life. The event invites everyone to think more deeply about what it means to be human.
Reasoning: When curiosity is alive, it fuels imagination and enables people to discover amazing things. The Summer Showcase is a celebration of the curiosity that drives humanity forward. The branding plays with depth and scale to bring curiosity to life. The aim was to create a sense of intrigue and discovery across applications and throughout the exhibition.
Challenges: The branding would exist for a relatively short period of time and the opportunities to communicate with our intended audience were limited. Therefore, it needed to engage quickly and be distinctive enough to be remembered. We needed to push at the edges of what is expected of an event profiling postdoctoral academic research without ever alienating a sprawling and discerning audience.
Favorite details: A lot of branding and marketing from the world of academia can be quite dull and uninviting. We were pleased to get something bold and unique out there that opened up the world of academic research to a broader audience. The identity works to bring together ideas from lots of different disciplines and celebrates their relevance to the modern world.
Specific demands: The Showcase was the first flagship event under the new British Academy identity. As part of this project, we needed to define the relationship between major events run by the Academy and the new parent brand. The branding would set a precedent for future events hosted by the Academy.
Anything new: With limited assets available, a typographic solution was always going be a consideration. In the end, a very simple dynamic approach gave us the constraints we needed to unify the applications, while allowing for creative expression. All of the dynamic type sits on a central axis and simply scales up and down to create the unique layouts.