Calgary Folk Music Festival

The Calgary Folk Music Festival (CFMF) needed a new site that improved user functionality and was able to reflect the modern and shifting nature of the festival and brand. Guerbois, a collective of freelancers, came together to launch a new site for the brand in a process that was collaborative, iterative and nimble.

Art Direction

Members of creative collective Guerbois.
Built By Field – UX/UI design & dev
Allison Robins – Research & Strategy
Nathan Atnikov – Strategy & Writing

The Challenge

Large-scale, multi-day music festivals typically have many functional web requirements. In addition to all of these, the CFMF website also needed to reflect and support the many events the organization as a whole puts on throughout the year. The brand also changes from year to year, as local artists annually redefine the look of the festival with a new and distinct illustration style. Our team needed to implement a design system that would highlight the unique seasonal look of the festival while retaining a cohesive brand sensibility that would work year and year and in times when the festival wasn’t being held.

The Approach

Q. How do we ensure the seasonal brand shines while maintaining consistency?

A. A flexible system built on a distinct and bold use of colour, imagery and grid.

Bold coloured backgrounds create a dynamic environment to highlight content and are a timeless design element. Red, black and grey were selected as the brand’s colours and are used across the site. We built in the ability to choose colours that would reflect the yearly festival illustration, thus allowing for a dynamic and evolving system. The seasonal illustrations were also used as accents throughout the festival section of the website, allowing the site content to shine while ensuring connection with the distinctive festival posters.

Since CFMF has a long history of using illustration, we wanted to carry this through to the site in elements that would be permanent and would not change with the seasonal poster illustrations. These new illustrative elements needed to complement the seasonal illustrations that would change in style from year to year. A simple, expressive digital illustration style with a hand-drawn feel was chosen in a pallet influenced by the main brand colours.