Interview: Form takes us inside the 'upbeat' new brand identity for V Festival

Form's Paula Benson explains how it brought a new colour palette, logo and even a custom typeface (with the help of sign painter Archie Proudfoot) to the V Festival.

Music branding experts and Form creative partners Paul West and Paula Benson have designed the energetic new look for V Festival. It includes a set of bespoke letterforms alongside a fresh Virgin V, a new colour palette and an encapsulating Virgin logo. 

The new identity has been launched as part of the first stages of marketing for the festival's 22nd year running. If you’re attending, you’ll spot the new logo onsite at the festival parks – Hylands Park and Weston Park.

Paula says they were given a very open brief, and after presenting several different design concepts, the chosen was a "purely instinctive response". 

"We were united in wanting to achieve an 'upbeat' feel with a hint of fairground and circus aesthetics without being too obvious or clichéd," she says.

Melvin Benn from UK music promoter Festival Republic and Paul Glossop on behalf of Virgin V Festival commissioned the London-based design and branding studio. 

An all-new typeface and set of numbers and glyphs has been designed by Form for the new logo, in collaboration with traditional sign writer and artist Archie Proudfoot.

Working with Archie Proudfoot was a decision loved by all parties.

"Working with letterforms created by a sign writer who normally creates everything by hand added another dimension to the project," says Paula.

Archie created letters in Illustrator, and Form would tweak them and make suggestions, and he would tweak a little bit more until everyone was happy.

Form discovered Archie’s work - which encapsulates fairground and circus themes - at an art fair and felt it would sit right for V Festival.

The new typeface, which incorporates the new colour palette with the Virgin red, will be used across all marketing platforms – from social media to signage and merchandise.

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The new letterforms work alongside an integrated Virgin V and the new colour palette developed to complement Virgin’s brand.

"The logo went through many stages of refining to ensure the Virgin V worked harmoniously with our new alphabet," says Paula.

The Virgin logo is tucked inside a red balloon ellipse – which is designed to also accommodate the Virgin group partner brand logos when needed.

Alongside the new logo, Form created a series of graphic devices which will house line-ups, news, announcements and social media posts in build-up campaigning before the festival. These take shape as 3D boxes, circles, arrows and background patterns.

Paula says the intention of the new identity is to reflect an upbeat, optimistic summer experience.

Head of Festival Republic Melvin Benn says Form have created a youthful, bold and lively design "that’s truly reflective of what the festival is all about". 

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A style guide and "design kit-of-parts" have been provided by Form for the Festival Republic in-house design and marketing team. 

Form has 26 years experience in music, entertainment and lifestyle branding, including work for Latitude Festival, Reading and Leeds Festival and Abbey Road Studios.

V Festival showcases a mix of British and international pop and rock artists, generally attracting a younger audience. This year’s V Festival line-up includes Jay Z, Ellie Goulding, Rudimental and P!nk to name a few. It hosts around 175,000 visitors and 120 acts every year in August.