It may not be easy to rename a cultural icon whose history goes back almost 50 years, but this is exactly what the Amsterdam-based studio Tin was faced with when it was commissioned to create a new identity for Belgium’s largest music festival, Rock Werchter.
The very first Rock Werchter was held in 1975 with about 1,000 music lovers, and now the event attracts 90,000 visitors every day of its four days.
Tin has created a new logo, a custom compressed font and a collection of patterns that can be used in different color combinations across the identity. “An essential part of the rebranding was to create a new brand identity that is as familiar to loyal returning visitors as it is exciting for newcomers,” says Tin.
The studio continues: “in the 70s, rock Werchter and many other rock festivals and concerts were often introduced in the same characteristic way – they stacked all the information with a compressed font in closely spaced capital letters and used all the space on the screen to exchange as much information as possible.”
Alluding to the visual history and historical heritage of the festival, the new identity nods towards this “stacked” layout, while the logo deliberately highlights the “Werchter” over the “rock” to indicate the fact that the event today has many different genres.
One of the main goals of the new identity was to appeal both to loyal fans who have been coming to the festival for decades, and to take into account that “the younger target group may not always feel sufficiently represented,” as Tin puts it. “The challenge for us was to create a dynamic brand that feels familiar to returning visitors and at the same time challenges a new generation of music lovers.”
The new visual identity was not only more integrative, but also had to adapt to a variety of applications with extremely different dimensions. “The scope [of the festival] is gigantic across the board,” says Tin. “The patterns, combined with the different color pairs, represent the fantastic diversity of all music genres and moods – from incredible headliners to punk, pop, singer-songwriters, electronic music and everything in between. Together they create a multifaceted and festive visual language, which will continue to develop and develop over the years.”