The Danish design studio Barkas has created this year’s visual identity and festival campaign for CPH:DOX 2020. The new identity is highlighting a thematic focus on global activist movements and the festival’s overall artistic profile. 

Common to most civil movements has always been a strong visual language – from the yellow stickers against nuclear power in the 70’s to the yellow vests in France and Gretha Thunberg’s school strike for the climate.

A strong visual identity is also the core in the new campaign for CPH:DOX 2020, highlighting the festival’s thematic focus on political and social movements.

The campaign is created by the Danish design studio Barkas, headed by Mike Wittrup and Steven Müller. According to them, the focus on movements opened a wide range of visual possibilities:

“We have tried to embrace this year’s theme at CPH:DOX and add an activist take to the campaign because activism has a rich embedded visual universe, which we can use creatively to communicate this year’s festival. 

Activist movements have had, if not a renaissance, then at least an extra boost in recent years, and with good reason. Our goal is to emphasize the activist language in the overall graphic universe and at the same time create a potent visual expression that is flexible to work with. We decided to use a strong yellow spray, which can be something that covers, masks or emphasizes. We’re able to adjust it to several different formats without risking a repetitive look, and the identity can in theory take over any format with the yellow spray.”

Barkas has been located in Copenhagen and Stockholm since 2014 and has previously designed campaigns for major brands such as IKEA, Red Bull and Mercedes. 

A reflection on the world anno 2020

At CPH:DOX a new year equals a new visual identity. Working with a new visual expression is therefore an important part of the festival, says CEO of CPH:DOX and Copenhagen Film Festivals, Tine Fischer.

“It has always been part of CPH:DOX’s DNA each year to be able to present a new, strong, visual identity that reflects the present movements across the world. However, it is the first time we present a campaign that speaks this directly into the themes characterized in the programme as this one does. During the past years, we have seen a significant increase in social and political movements – from demonstrations in Hong Kong and Chile to the youth climate movement. This year’s identity is exactly about the civil engagement, and Barkas has definitely succeeded in creating a visual identity which embraces this”

The campaign is launched today on digital platforms and in March it will be rolled out as a large-scale outdoor campaign throughout Copenhagen.