Established in 1985, Sundance Film Festival is the largest and longest-running independent film festival in the United States. They’ve fostered new voices and risk-taking films, debuting iconic titles of the indie canon: American Psycho to Love & Basketball, Call Me by Your Name to CODA, Little Miss Sunshine to Fair Play.
Each January, the Festival introduces a global audience to groundbreaking work and emerging talent in independent film. Creating an enduring brand for one of the most important players in independent film posed a unique challenge: the identity needed to represent a legacy as well as a forward-looking ethos — at once timeless and contemporary. To do this, we developed a brand language that—just like the festival—supports a multiplicity of stories and perspectives.
The logo, defined by a film-inspired aspect ratio, is both an identifier for the brand and a framing device; overlaid on footage and stills from the Festival program and archive, it calls attention to specific moments, characters, and emotions. Typography set in Monument Grotesk signals the Festival’s presence yet remains neutral enough to speak to diverse genres and titles. Compositions take inspiration from the seriality of film strip cells, referencing the shape of the logo to tell stories of their own; and anchored in the language of filmmaking, motion behaviors seamlessly support footage and guide audiences through the brand universe.
Carrying the narrative is a new brand voice, channeled through a persona not unfamiliar in film: Narrator of Our Now. In dialogue with artists, audiences, and the film industry, this voice moves effortlessly between celebration and exposition while staying grounded in the contemporary moment. A tagline centering independent artists (“All Eyes on Independents”) brings new perspectives into focus.
As filmmaking evolves, so will the Festival’s identity. As new perspectives come into focus, so will new brand gestures. And as artists push the boundaries of storytelling, Sundance Film Festival will show their work to the world.