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Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial

Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial

Sofia Pusa
March 9, 2021
3 Comments

Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial presented some of the best works by contemporary illustrators. The challenge was creating an identity that would encompass the breadth of today’s artists who create an astonishing diversity of illustrations across a spectrum of styles and genres. The letter “M” in the form of a brush stroke stood for “Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial” in the new wordmark, which had multiple variations representing different styles of illustration in the exhibition, from lush paint strokes to detailed vector illustration. A minimal black and white palette worked as a backdrop of the otherwise vibrant visual identity just like an empty canvas for an illustrator, thus also giving space for the showcased illustrations to speak for themselves.



Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial presented some of the best works by Finnish illustrators, and from the continuously changing and expanding field of contemporary illustration. The challenge was creating an identity that would encompass the breadth of today’s artists who create an astonishing diversity of illustrations across a spectrum of styles and genres.

A brush stroke is one of the most versatile basic elements of illustration. A brush stroke can depict mood, movement or texture, for example. An illustrator's personal style can be recognised from just one, simple stroke and it represents the most significant tool of an illustrator – the personal touch behind every illustration.


The letter “M” in the form of a brush stroke stood for “Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial” in the new wordmark, which had multiple variations representing different styles of illustration in the exhibition, from lush hand-painted strokes to detailed vector illustration. Bringing an element of playfulness to the identity, the changing brush stroke was used as a bold, repetitive graphic element that was endlessly adaptable. A minimal black and white palette worked as a backdrop of the otherwise vibrant visual identity just like an empty canvas for an illustrator, thus also giving space for the showcased illustrations to speak for themselves.






I worked closely with Mikkeli Art Museum to develop the new identity and the response to the visual identity has been really good. I learned a lot in the process about creating a new identity that would both be playful and versatile and yet provide a cohesive look and feel. It was also fun experimenting with different tools and techniques for the word mark and I hope to be able to use these techniques in my future projects as well!

The aim of the exhibition catalogue was to feature topical articles in the field of illustration and showcase the winners of Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial. It was important that the catalogue aligned with the aesthetic of the visual identity yet leaving space for celebrating the work of the showcased illustrators. The front cover of the catalogue was finished using embossing on a thick paper to give it a subtle, tactile feeling.

Credits:
Still life photography: Atte Tanner, www.attetanner.com

Sofia Pusa

Studio Sofia Pusa is an independent, award-winning creative studio whose mission is to provide clients across disciplines with exceptional creative work and to make brands stand out through targeted visual solutions. Known for fresh ideas and attention to detail, the studio's work encompasses graphic design and art direction, strategy and visual identity and illustration and motion graphics – across print, web and video.

3 comments on “Mikkeli’s 12th Illustration Triennial”

  1. I like how you were able to incorporate the letter "M" in your designs. The typography is also on point.

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