Marc Bessant

graphic art and design studio@marcbessant.com

WOMAD Festival UK 2019

Artwork, design, Graphic Design


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It had been a while since I had designed anything for WOMAD in the UK so it was very nice to be asked to come up with the face of this years Charlton Park event. One of the many things I’ve always associated WOMAD festivals with is its closeness to nature, and in particular how we – human beings – take time away from our busy urban lives and jump feet first into it – quite literally wondering amongst fields and woodlands for hours, allowing our senses to stretch. Coupled with the continuous discovery and eclectic mix of music and events encountered at WOMAD, I was keen to create a naturally psychedelic looking piece of work. My original sketch was of illustrated leaves and grasses weaving in and out and through the letters, I really wanted it to look fun, encompassing and boisterous but something wasn’t quite right; being surrounded and entwined with nature was the correct approach but currently it just wasn’t different or colourful enough, it had to be more vivid and, ultimately, fascinating. I had to think bigger, well, actually smaller, much much smaller.
I was familiar with the electron microscopy of Steve Gschmeissner, having worked with him before on a Peter Gabriel record, and he’s incredible at what he does (see his website www.theworldcloseup.com) and the images he manages to photograph never cease to amaze me; I contacted Steve with an idea and Steve set about micrographing, and raiding his archive for, various indiginous flower and grass seeds, which were then cut out and falsely coloured (originally they are grey tones) before finally getting digitally scattered amidst the typography to complete the piece.
Printed by Taylor Bothers in Bristol, the souvenir programme turned out really well and it was a pleasure to see it being read by so many at the festival last weekend.

Open book jacket
Lazing in the sun