The NN North Sea Jazz Festival is one of the world’s largest and most loved jazz events. Every July, over 90,000 fans visit the Ahoy venue to watch 1300 artists on fifteen stages, as Rotterdam becomes the jazz capital of the world for three music-filled days.
While the COVID era was problematic for live music, it also presented an opportunity to pause, reflect, and prepare for the future. North Sea Jazz sought to refresh its visual identity, the intention: to move with the times; better reflect the diversity of its program – encompassing everything from jazz and fusion to hip hop, world and R&B. It reflects the continuous pursuit of experiment and innovation, without alienating the fans who visit the festival every year.
With its origins in motion design, the new visual identity is driven by a sense of rhythm and movement – celebrating the unique energy of live music performance. We developed a custom code to animate text for motion and still applications, creating a dynamic type-led tone. The colour palette blends tradition with a more modern edge. NSJ’s famous ‘green swash’ remains front and centre, with accent colours and high contrast combinations communicating a progressive vibe more in step with the spirit of a constantly evolving festival.
Debuted in promotional campaigns, the new style is a fine example of how motion design can play a key role in the creation of visual identities, as well as their dissemination across different media.