Brighton Festival 2019Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

Mali in Bloom: Brighton Festival’s branding for 2019

Each year, we’re always excited to reveal the artwork for the Festival and this year has seen a particularly exciting creative collaboration between design agency Johnson Banks and illustrator Simon Prades.

Johnson Banks commissioned freelance illustrator Simon Prades to create a hand drawn illustration which was digitally composed to bring Rokia’s image to life. The campaign imagery uses the Brighton Festival ‘F’ identity enveloped within the silhouette, filled with layers of indigenous African hibiscus flowers.

Michael Johnson, Creative Director of Johnson Banks told us how the idea came about:

“From the very first briefing meetings, we were keen to use Rokia’s powerful profile in the designs to clearly mark it as her festival. Simon’s illustration forms a striking silhouette that is a celebration of growth, movement and the ‘coming together’ that the Festival represents.”


Johnson explains that the branding is deliberately broad --- “We want people to have a sense of the breadth of the Festival, the life and spirit that Rokia brings to her work and her projects and the can-do positivity that she stands for.”

Brighton Festival 2019 Guest Director, Malian musician Rokia Traoré explores the themes of identity, movement and humanity particularly in African culture and histories. Using her own image to represent the Festival, Rokia’s aim is to inspire and empower individuals and communities to meet, listen and pass on stories to the next generation.

The London-based creative agency designed our distinctive Festival identity in 2013. For the last six years since it’s been the focal point for our branding, with each guest director, from writer Michael Rosen in 2013 to artist David Shrigley in 2018, given an individual design.

Johnson added: “For local Brighton residents, the wider region and nationally, the branding helps signify that the Festival is approaching and what artists they can expect to see in May.”

Look out for the design appearing across Brighton & Hove, from the Festival brochure to billboard posters, t-shirts and bags.

Find out more about Johnson Banks' Brighton Festival branding here