Visual Branding & Design for the episodic documentary 

Client: NHK
Production company: NHK Cosmomedia Europe
Creative & Visual design: Tom Kata @ Visionesque

The project

Branding and design for the episodic documentary series. NHK 8K TV Documentary World Festivals (English translation) Sekai no Matsuri (Japanese Title) Long-form documentary series of 4 episodes.

The 8K immersive experience of iconic world festivals in Europe. It targets viewers who want experiences beyond tourism, experiencing the local atmosphere, lively culture and human interactions.

We built the branding and design direction around the title "World Festivals". Each episode has its unique style based on the story whilst unifies with the main art direction.
We worked closely with the dedicated production team on each episode to establish a characteristic visual strategy, ensuring that the branding was consistent throughout 4 episodes.

 

The Carnival of Venice | Italy

The design concept was mixing Venice's spiritual relationship with water and covered the eccentric atmosphere of Carnival and its culture and history from Casanova to the plague.

We illustrated a Venetian mask as a master identity, letting the audience feel like they were looking through the Venetian mask, and developed various design forms with Renaissance-inspired textures (marble, column and velvet).

 

Up Helly Aa | Shetland

It featured Lerwick's Up Helly Aa and the Viking saga and Shetland nature, culture, and yarn. The producers wanted to unify all of this into one brand. Research on Vikings and Shetland's history presented me with a harmony of juxtaposed cultures: Wooden Viking ships landing on the woodless island and the church stained-glass windows illustrate the legend of Vikings.

The key concept was to implement spiritual fusion (excitement and calmness), harmonising with the tone of textures whilst crafting contrasting elements of each culture.

 

Festival of Lights Lyon | France

The story explored artworks at the festival and Lyon's traditional customs and culture. And the director wanted to communicate the modern vs the classic through the art of lights which was the festival's concept. So we implemented Lyon's relationship and lights, from modern LEDs to traditional candle lights to the design concept.

A hero element was illustrated as 'floral light lays' expressing artificial and natural lights. The branding and design combined with hand-painted watercolour illustrations. The overall design presented the spirituality and artistry of Lyon.

 

*Background photos and text descriptions differ from the actual documentary.

Festival of San Fermín | Spain

The documentary was all about the ultimate entertainment: heat, vibe, and emotions, so producers wanted to add a human touch to the branding. By researching Pamplona's deep-felt culture, we built the design concept from a strong community and profound traditional customs.

We designed the atmosphere of the festival with illustrations with a warm colour palette, powerful line stroke and oil-painting texture. The design performed Pamplona's welcoming and engaging charisma throughout the documentary.

 

We provided a design kit: design templates and guidelines for the online editing to let the editors utilise the design for consistency throughout the documentary series.
The production was affected by the first COVID pandemic in Italy. So, we quickly adopted the revised plan and developed a new design system accordingly. The series also achieved extended slots throughout the year.

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