An amalgamation of Melbourne Music Week and Melbourne Knowledge Week, NoN seeks to push the boundaries of innovation, challenge its audience and invite all who are curious enough to experience Melbourne like never before. The Semi Permanent team were engaged by the City of Melbourne to develop an unmistakable brand identity that matched their ambition of creating an unmissable festival.
To carve out a distinctive space for Melbourne’s/Naarm’s new festival of innovation we needed to reimagine our perception of technology. The challenge presented to us was to create something that didn’t just rely on the traditional hallmarks of the genre like glossy 3D renders, technical jargon and sterile utopias. It also had to counter the growing apathy and anxiety surrounding the future of tech. By repositioning the grandeur of never-before-seen ideas to never-to-be-felt-again experiences, we embraced the emotive power of being fully present. This provoked the name, NOW OR NEVER: an invitation to return to the city, reconnect with one another, and be swept up in the 17-day euphoria before it disappeared.
Ephemerality became our central motif, influencing the washed hues of red, pink and gold in our colour palette. These vibrant gradients brought a new life to the grit of the city’s historic buildings, softening their edges and reacquainting locals with these beloved landmarks. Our wordmark hints at a sense of transformation and sets the foundation for a typographic system that ebbs and flows like the energy captured in our photography art direction. Signage was also designed to let things in the background pass through, creating a semi-transparent plane between the viewer and the world around them. When all of the elements are brought together, they seamlessly blend together and create an infinite spectrum of wonder like the bokeh of city lights.
In the lead up to the festival, the City of Melbourne painted the town red (and pink). Street posters took over the city's infamous laneways, bus stops were reimagined as branded liminal spaces and digital billboards became pink beacons of creative wonder along major freeways.
The festival brought together over 200,000 people into the beating heart of the city. The heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building was transformed into a conference hall for Semi Permanent and featured world-renowned creatives Roman Coppola and Hector Ouilhet alongside game-changers Mindy Seu and Serwah Attafuah. In the evenings, the REB was transformed into a raging dance floor, breaking a 20-year dry spell of major musical events in the venue. The spirit of these events were beautifully captured through the art direction of photography which celebrated the blurring of movement, the glare of lights and the intimacy of the crowds. And for those who couldn't be there in person, if you look closely enough at the images you may just feel the heat of moment.