festivalul de muzica clasica la metrou


(classical music at the subway festival)

Client: Bucharest based NGO arta nu musca focused on promoting art to the masses



This NGO is organizing an annual festival whose purpose is to promote and bring classical music to the people, in this case, to any commuter using the subway in Bucharest. How? By staging performances played by the best classical musicians and opera singers on 4 different subway platforms during rush hour.



My main challenge was to find the best way to visually convey the subject of the festival which was: “You can hear classical music at the subway at this time and place, come check it out”. I also had to think about the vast demographic at hand. We wanted to reach all the people that use the subway (enormous task). That meant that I had to communicate in an easy to understand, no fuss manner. I also had to make it eye-catching for any passerby.


We decided to focus primarily on print based promotion: on the spot banners displayed in the subway before the events, branded limited edition subway cards that were sent to a handful of people that would in turn share their experience, printed schedules of the performances, posters and branded t-shirts. We also promoted the event on facebook by making a page and visually branding the content with repostable quotes and covers.



I was on part limited by the medium we used:  for print promotion, the biggest medium we had at our disposal was a 2m banner. You realize that usually bigger is better when you want to attract as many eyes as possible… In any case, this limitation actually helped me focus on creating a substantial and clear visual message that will be as impactful as a 2m banner or an A5 program.



I wanted to make a set visual formula that would in turn be the base for this year’s edition but also future ones. That meant that I needed to start with a logo. I based the structure of the logo on the same 5 lines used in music sheets all around the world. I incorporated the name of the festival as a whole, aligned to those lines. I also wanted to convey the idea of the letters in the name portrayed as musical notes on this 5 line staff, hence the animation. This animation formed the base of the web promotion we were planning to do. The 5 line structure also formed a 4 color bar structure that is symbolically representing the 4 subway lines that run through Bucharest. (convenient, right?)


Bursting from this fundamental idea was the next quest: creating the main visual for this year’s edition of the festival. I limited the color palette to only 2 colors because I wanted to have a big contrast between elements to ensure that it caught people’s attention (with banners in the subway or online with facebook covers). I created the main illustration (the musical note made out of subway lines) because it communicated the subject of the festival in the best manner and it could be used in any medium at very different sizes. After having this base determined, I found that every new way of adapting the message (on the subway cards, on programs or t-shirts…) flowed much more easily. That illustration and color palette were the main “actors” in this year’s edition and I hope that next year will present me with the challenge of keeping the visual continuity and also creating a new iteration based on this structure.

Date: May 10, 2016

Category: Art direction, Branding