McCann Leeds creates a vibrant global flag for Edinburgh International Festival’s 75th anniversary

Published on August 20, 2022

Strategic creative agency, McCann Leeds, has created a brand campaign for Edinburgh International Festival to celebrate its 75th year of bringing international culture and performing arts together in Scotland’s capital.

After adding Edinburgh International Festival to its roster of clients in 2021, the agency was this year appointed to create a campaign that would celebrate and promote the milestone 75 years of unique collaboration and cultural exchange between artists and performers from around the world. The milestone campaign needed to bring back dedicated audiences and draw in new people to the festival for the first time, solidifying the brand’s positioning as an internationally significant cultural festival.

McCann Leeds designed and crafted a bespoke flag graphic for ‘75 Years of Bringing World Cultures Together’ campaign, to create a bold, arresting way of visualising world cultures coming together. The campaign was rolled out across digital, social, and multiple out of home sites across the city.

Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director at McCann Leeds, said: “The Edinburgh International Festival has been bringing the very best artists and culture from around the world to the city for an astonishing 75 years, so to be able to be part of that heritage going forward is an honour.

“Creativity runs deep through the Festival, and we’ve made sure our work supported that. We wanted to capture the excitement and intrigue that the Festival delivers to its supporters at such an important anniversary with a memorable and thought-provoking campaign.

“The flag graphic we created was sparked from the idea that Edinburgh International Festival is the place where you can see cultures from every corner. We took the recognisable elements from global flags from every continent: the striking primary colours, stripes, circles, and angular lines, and then brought them together to create a fictional, mouldable patchwork of vibrancy. We knew that whatever we produced would need to be arresting and simple to get cut through amongst the noise of posters and billboards seen everywhere in Edinburgh during summertime.’

Kath Clark, Head of Marketing at Edinburgh International Festival, added: “We were excited to partner with McCann Leeds for the second year running. They demonstrate a thorough understanding and appreciation of our ambitions, and the response to their work has been fantastic.

“Edinburgh is world famous for offering an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts every August. The festival was started back in 1947. In that first year, people overcame the post-war darkness, division, and austerity in a blooming of festival spirit. Over the past eight decades, that same vision has ignited an astonishing breadth of thrilling cultural experiences across the arts.

“Recent years have been enormously challenging for our sector and for our audiences who missed the joy and reprieve of cultural events. Against this backdrop, it was more important than ever to celebrate the festival’s 75th year with vibrancy, whilst championing the Festival’s power to connect the world’s artists and audiences and offer a sense of shared discovery and civic pride.