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The Chicago International Film Festival Rebrand and 55th Annual Festival Campaign

Client: The Chicago International Film Festival

After almost 60 years as one of the longest-running film festivals in the world, the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) was due for a facelift. When CIFF’s Board of Directors approached the Ogilvy design team, the identity featured at least ten logo variations and hadn’t had an identifiable look for the festival in decades.

 

With only six weeks before the 55th annual festival, my Ogilvy teammates and I got right to work. Inspired by the original 1960-1980’s Swiss-style festival posters, the refreshed identity is boldly simple: white Helvetica Neue on black and a no-nonsense grid system that uses film aspect ratios as units of measurement. The end result is both modern and timeless, honoring the history and fundamentals of film while looking confidently toward its future.

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Along with the development of the new brand identity, the look of the 55th Chicago International Film Festival also needed to be established. With continued inspiration from film fundamentals, I developed cinematographic type illustrations using "55," featuring visual renditions of classic cinematography techniques. Once these graphics were paired with the new layout system and some brilliant copywriting from my Ogilvy colleagues, the festival campaign, titled "What Role Will You Play?" packed a real punch. Below, you'll also find two of the films the team developed for the launch, including some fantastic type animation from local animation house, Sarofsky, and one of many hilarious "casting call" promotional spots.

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Credits

Creative Directors – Gabriel Usadel and Joe Sciarrotta

Fellow Designers – Connor Fleming and Sho Watanabe

Copywriting – Dave Loew and Hannah Lacava

Animated OLV – Sarofsky

Cinematographic Animations – Julius Dobiesz

Account – Arianna Coxe and Alyssa Fite