British Film Institute Guide covers



When I was directing the design department at the British Film Institute, London, I worked towards formulating a new visual language for the brand, that would communicate the prestigious film institution’s values as well as keeping in line with the brand guidelines.

It was also important to create a memorable visual impact for the film seasons advertised, as well as conveying a deeply layered, compelling cultural message that would speak to the highly sophisticated target audience.

This complex set of visual layers found its first expression in the covers for the monthly Guide to all of the BFI’s activities for each month: film seasons, educational programmes, events, and so on.

The Guide covers then informed a wide suite of other marketing materials, both online and offline: venue banners, 4-sheet and quad posters, plasma screens, online ads, billboards…

You can see from the selection of Guide covers presented here how the visual language was always evocative as well as cohesive.

Each image was created starting from a film or production still from the BFI archive, often not in a great state. Sometimes we would even use a screenshot if a still was not available, or not in good enough condition. The rest of the image was created from a mixture of handmade textures or digital files, added in Photoshop. The result was a huge, layer-tastic file with all sorts of effects and manipulations.

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