Flourish Festival Seeks Graphic Design Proposals

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Flourish, the Fredericton-based interdisciplinary music and arts festival, is looking for artists interested in helping shape the event’s 2023 visual identity.

The Disco Snail was one of several graphic elements created by illustrator Sacha Stephan for last year’s Flourish Festival.
Matt Carter

Flourish has definitely carved its own identity over the past several years. Each new edition reaches deeper and pushes further to bring new creative perspectives to the forefront. No two Flourish Festivals have been the same. Each event presents music, visual art, pop-up events, workshops, and new ideas in a safe, fun, and welcoming manner. 

Each new edition of Flourish presents a new look that is both playful and alluring without ever swaying, one way or another, from the festival’s unique identity as a multifaceted art-based experience. 

Last week Flourish announced a call for proposals seeking applications from visual artists interested in shaping the visual identity of the 2023 festival, set to take place June 15-18.

For the past five years, designer and graphic artist Erin Goodine has worked in collaboration with the artist (or artists) selected to shape the festival’s visual identity. Through this collaboration, Goodine, together with the festival team, works with the artists to create posters, social media graphics and banners, and finds ways to represent these elements throughout the various venues and events programmed each year.

“I’ve been working with Flourish Festival on the design and art direction of the festival’s visual identity over the past few years,” said Goodine. “Each year is different with new artists creating their look and feel for the festival. I work with the artist to figure out how we can apply their artwork to all the promotional materials, such as the poster, program, social media, and other fun stuff like videos, large banners and beer cans. My role as a designer, in this case, is maintaining the artist’s artwork and aesthetic throughout the festival while ensuring the visuals are cohesive.”

Past festival designs have featured work by Emily Blair, Robin Goodine, Graeme Kennedy, and Emma Hassencahl-Perley to name a few. Last year, Halifax-based illustrator Sacha Stephan came up with a series of insect-like images that helped shape one of the festival’s most memorable looks to date. Working with Goodine and the festival team, Stephan’s work was adapted to suit the festival’s promotional needs while also acting as a hybrid artist exhibit in and of itself. 

“We discussed ideas for a theme, and I provided some art direction and technical parameters,” said Goodine. “We wanted Sacha to run with it, and the illustrations she came back with were the most fantastic and charming bugs you’ve ever seen! From there, I designed different layout options for the poster with Sacha’s artwork. It was a very collaborative process.

“Keeping the festival identity very artwork-focused helps celebrate the intention of Flourish,” said Goodine. “The hand-made and DIY approach has always been part of the festival so I think that should show in the identity. Some ways we were able to do this included when I made paper costumes of bugs based on Sacha’s drawings for a promo video, Sacha making a giant wooden cutout of a snail with a mirror disco ball for a shell, and the signs and stage backdrops made by other artists and volunteers based on the theme of that year’s festival. To me, that’s the ideal process – to work out a design system with the artist’s vision in mind. That way, it allows us to collaborate and play with a visual identity that doesn’t just promote the festival but celebrates the artists and musicians involved in making the festival possible.”

Full details on this year’s call for proposals can be found on the Flourish Festival website. Deadline to apply is January 20, 2023.  

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