An interactive identity for York Mediale

The York Mediale website. Eyeballs track users’ mouse movements in one of a series of animations created for the site

York is best known for its medieval architecture and Gothic cathedral but it’s also a city with a fast-growing creative scene. The University of York and York St John have invested £100 million in creative facilities and the city was recently named a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. It is the first in the UK to be awarded the title (given to cities that put the creative industries at the centre of their development plans).

For ten days next year, York will host York Mediale: a biennal digital arts festival launching on September 18. Tom Higham (a former producer at Manchester International Festival) has been appointed creative director and will curate a programme of exhibitions, installations and workshops. Speaking to the York Press, Higham said it will be “a celebration of digital art, performance, visual art, and everything in between.”

The York Mediale logo
Responsive visuals created by Something More and Hungry Sandwich Club

The identity for the festival was created by design studio Something More and motion/web studio Hungry Sandwich Club.

The event’s strapline is “Art, meet the future” and the identity is based around an ‘M’ monogram and a clever use of coding. Website yorkmediale.com features animations that respond to user interactions: dragging a mouse across the screen will trigger eyes to move and letters to change colour while clicking triggers a colour change or a new animation. Mobile visitors can also generate graphic patterns and interact with visuals using their fingers.

Something More says it wanted to reflect the experiential nature of the event by creating a website that would provide a unique experience for every user.

“Our approach was to make the identity a piece of digital art in itself, developing a series of visual and interaction experiments based around the marque. So the brand reflects the exciting, playful and experimental content of the festival,” says Simon Morrow, partner at Something More. “Doing lots of different things also helped remove the festival from any particular aesthetic, and feel more open and accessible.”

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