Rebranding the Toronto Korean Harvest Festival to bridge communication gaps
BRANDING & IDENTITY
The Korean Harvest Festival (KHF) is a free annual event that takes place at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Toronto. KHF gathers individuals of all backgrounds to experience the culture of Korean thanksgiving through fun events and activities. The challenges of KHF's current brand identity is that it caters to English-speaking audiences, which is evident across all brand applications. The visual concept further places a heavy emphasis on the idea of harvest, which is inconsistent to the actual activities taking place in the festival.
Branding & Identity
— Research, Ideation, Visual Design
Sept — Nov 2019
How might we rebrand the Korean Harvest Festival in a way that both communicates and resonates with English and Korean-speaking audiences?
The rebranded identity is called Hangawi. Hangawi promotes a bilingual identity that gives equal value to English and Korean language. It delivers a brand experience which expresses KHF's original mission of bringing awareness to both traditional thanksgiving culture and modern Korean culture. Inspired by traditional symbols such as rabbits and the full harvest moon, the visual system reflects a strong cultural significance across all brand applications.
20" x 30" Poster, 11" x 17" 8 Panel Double-sided Pamphlet, Printed & Digital Tickets, Press Passes, Digital Assets
Web Landing Page: Korean
Web Landing Page: English
THE DESIGN PROCESS
I started by looking at cultural information relating to the celebration of Korean thanksgiving, as well as the overall theme and dynamic of this event. This helped direct me towards how to best approach the target demographic.
MODERN KOREAN CULTURE
One of the reasons this festival has such a huge turnout is due to the Hallyu (Korean Wave) phenomenon. This term is used to refer to the popularity of Korean entertainment and culture expanding across Asia and other parts of the world. For example, with K-pop (Korean popular music) reaching mainstream audiences in North America, the K-pop dance competition at this festival has become the most popular and must-see event each year.
TRADITIONAL KOREAN CULTURE
Many of the events at this festival are inspired by the culture of traditional Korean thanksgiving, otherwise known as Hangawi or Chuseok. In Korea, many Koreans usually spend the holiday together with their family to share food, stories and give thanks to their ancestors. Forms of entertainment may include traditional performances or traditional folk games.
THEME & EVENTS
The theme of this festival appears to be ‘family-friendly’ and ‘inclusivity.’ There is always something to do for all ages and group sizes, whether it is eating good food, exploring market booths, participating in fun activities, or watching cultural performances.
USER DEMOGRAPHICS & PSYCHOGRAPHICS
This festival is targeted at a wide range of demographics, including all ages, gender, race, location, financial status, etc. There are both activities that require being active and activities that can be enjoyed with limited mobility. The festival targets audiences with an open mindset and social lifestyle. As it is a Korean cultural festival held for the public, the goal is to attract individuals that would be respectful and interested in exploring Korean culture, regardless of their background. The festival is generally outdoors, crowded, and bustling with activity.
VISUAL IDENTITY & ASSETS DEVELOPMENT
Based on my research, I explored 3 contrasting visual approaches: representational, symbolic and abstract. I then developed custom typography, colour palettes and brand assets for both digital and print applications.
CHALLENGES & KEY TAKEAWAYS
The biggest challenge I had was working with two languages, as my goal was to have completely bilingual branding with equal hierarchy given to both English and Korean language. After experimenting with typesetting in two languages, I learned how to adapt type design in a way that could truly bridge the communications gaps.
If I were to revisit this project, I would like to further develop the web and mobile assets. I would also create a visual style guide to ensure the the brand identity can be consistently used across all platforms.