Tangent Graphic have created the identity for the 2012 Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). The Book Festival is a meeting of minds, welcoming novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, musicians, biographers, environmentalists, economists, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and many more besides. The event brings readers and writers together for entertainment, discussion and pure inspiration. With over 800 events, EIBF is the world's largest public celebration of the written word.
Tangent developed the creative concept of'The World, In Words', based on the observation that contemporary literature is informed by trends and issues in wider society.
In classic Greek philosophy it was believed that all human motivation and action was driven by a few basic themes - the essential emotional human desires, fears and challenges that move us, drive us, and are relevant to us. Because these motivations drove all human behaviour, they were also the foundation for any fictional plot-line than an author or poet could conceive of.
Tangent took a variant of these themes - Justice, Love, Morality, Order, Pleasure, Fear and Validation - and used them as the building blocks for a mindmap that visualised the connection between literature and wider world events. Using a mix of text, photography and specially commissioned illustrations, the topic board featured topical news and cultural trends, overlaid with relevant quotes and excerpts from the writers and thinkers appearing at the festival.
The Book Festival therefore becomes the world in microcosm - the debates and readings (and the content of the books themselves) reflect well publicised world events such as the banking crisis or Arab Spring, but are also informed by general cultural trends such as the ubiquity of social media or the dominance of celebrity culture.
The five metre long mindmap was constructed within the book Festival site, and became the basis of an identity system that was subsequently applied to a wide range of promotional materials, including the eighty-page listings brochure.
The motivations in full:
The Desire for Justice
The Pursuit of Love
The Morality of Individuals
A Desire for Order
The Pursuit of Pleasure
The Desire for Validation
The Fear of Death and the Unknown