Sound as Image
The process began by selecting a series of original images that captured the energy and excitement of an EDM concert. I knew I wanted to incorporate the feeling of this type of music, and one way to achieve that is by manipulating imagery.
But here's the clever part. These glitch effects weren't just hacked together in Photoshop or part of some filter. These images are created with sound.
First, I converted the images to
.TIFF. This filetype stores bitmap images as raw data, meaning they can be processed with code or other methods without corrupting the file. I then opened the each file in a music editing program called Audacity and manipulated them directly with audio effects. Experimenting with a wide range of tools like reverb, echo, flanger, and vocoder effects allowed me to slowly learn their visual results.
The resulting textures are distorted and abstract while still retaining elements of the original photos. The modularity of this technique allowed me to turn simple audio distortion into rich and complex textures.
This innovative technique incorporates music at every step of the design process, adding unique and artistic elements to the visual identity of the Cadence festival. The end result captures the energy and spirit of the festival, creating a cohesive and immersive experience for attendees.
During the ideation phase, I experimented with different fonts but eventually began sketching out my own.
After many iterations, I landed on one that I feel embraces nightlife and its connection to electronic dance music.
Enter Nexus, a wide neo-futuristic typeface for the Cadence festival.
Nexus is used as a primary brand element and has become a distinct and iconic part of the festival's visual identity.
Putting it all Together
By using principles of dance music directly and exploring its visual potential, these attributes shine throughout the festival’s branding. Since each composition is built from a consistent set of tools, the workflow is modular and can be expanded for future years.
It was an exciting challenge to explore the different ways in which this brand came to life as a multilingual, multidisciplinary exploration of music and design.