Les Francos de Montréal is Canada’s premier competition of French language music and tradition. Held yearly in downtown Montréal, it’s a fixture in each the social calendar and cultural lifetime of the town, and the broader francophone world. This 12 months’s version of the competition has been given a complicated new look, courtesy of LG2, Canada’s largest unbiased artistic company and Canadian Design Company of the Yr 2023.
There’s a palpable sense of hometown pleasure on this cool, luxurious work which provides important heat and coronary heart to a smooth typographic-led model. Whereas the Francos’ earlier identification was satisfactory however unmemorable, this resplendent new pores and skin is unmistakably tailored and distinctively stylish.
The logotype consists of seven playfully abstracted letterforms, abbreviating the title colloquially to Francos. The emblem is instantly recognisable – about which LG2 are so (rightly) assured that they take a delightfully devil-may-care method to how the brand is used. It variously seems abbreviated to only ‘FR’; cut up insouciantly throughout two or three traces; partially peeking from behind different format components. This demonstrates a supreme and well-placed confidence within the inherent formal energy of the logotype. This method to the deployment of the brand wouldn’t essentially work for different kinds of brand name, however for a competition identification it’s good. This endless flexibility permits the digital touch-points to reflect the massive selection within the bodily purposes of the brand throughout the competition website – filling 100ft lengthy banners, projected onto phases and the edges of buildings, popping up as giant scale sculptures.
One small criticism is that the ‘F’ itself is fractionally much less formally satisfying than the opposite constituent letterforms, which inhibits the flexibility and inclination to make use of it as a standalone preliminary. In comparison with the remainder of the letters it feels unbalanced – maybe somewhat too irregular, or maybe not fairly irregular sufficient.
Although stylistically contrasting, the logotype letterforms have the identical total peak and width profile as their counterparts within the model font, Ivy Presto. This enables the customized letters to be selectively, provocatively switched into headings and artist names. The juxtaposition of classical magnificence and up to date abstraction within the pairing of a Romanesque Outdated Fashion serif font and the customized, abstracted logotype feels stylishly eclectic and playfully iconoclastic. This method additionally creates a typographic vocabulary that cleverly spans the varied multitude of musical genres and efficiency arts that Les Francos showcases– LG2’s typographic system can compellingly announce cutting-edge techno DJs, virtuoso live performance violinists and all the pieces in between.
The seven letters of the logotype additionally present the magic quantity for the seven-colour palette. In accordance with LG2, ‘every letter was drawn in a color impressed by the spring season’. This should have been an early iteration of an concept that didn’t make it to the ultimate execution (the brand solely ever seems in a single color), however it offers an perception into the structural pondering that underpins the wealthy, rainbow palette of springtime tones. The usage of color all through this model is phenomenal. The palette has been so rigorously configured that every color pairs with any of the others to create an impact that’s both harmonious or provocative – both approach it feels each intentional and contemporary. Such is the cautious consideration clearly given to the palette that even in layouts that characteristic artist pictures which inevitably doesn’t conform to the model palette, the impact is at all times painterly fairly than lurid.
Unusually, the applying of this interesting new model appears to have been restricted to bodily touchpoints for 2023’s version of the competition. The web site makes use of a restricted choice from the color palette, not one of the typography, and most surprisingly, the outdated brand. The brand new letterforms seem solely as barely recognisable background graphics. A cursory flick by means of Instagram additionally reveals a typically shaky grasp of the model aesthetic, in want of the typographic self-discipline evident in LG2’s case examine.
Even in that case examine, the tasteless outdated brand incongruously seems on mockups of banners on scaffolding towers. It’s unclear what function this outdated brand nonetheless has to play within the new model, and what guidelines govern how, the place and why it’s used as a substitute of LG2’s a lot stronger replace. A guess is perhaps that the outdated model is a more in-depth simulacrum of the brand for L’Équipe Spectra, the cultural company answerable for internet hosting Les Francos (in addition to the Competition Worldwide de Jazz de Montréal and Montréal en Lumière festivals, and several other venues throughout the town). Frustratingly nonetheless, it’s not even a precise match. They’re each tall, slim, Gothic sans-serif logotypes, however the similarity ends there. Right here’s hoping LG2 is being introduced again in to work on an overarching identification for L’Équipe Spectra, to capitalise on the home-run of its identification for Les Francos.
After all, none of this hypothesis has something strictly to do with our consideration on this article of LG2’s wonderful work. I point out it solely in case anybody from L’Équipe Spectra is studying this. If they’re, I wholeheartedly urge you to rush up and roll out this attractive new identification throughout your web site and all different touchpoints in time for the 2024 competition.