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Toronto International
Film Festival 2016

Identity + Creative Campaign

Lead Graphic Design: Jordan Bowden
Photography: Aaron Van Domelen, Jordan Bowden
Video: Aaron Van Domelen, Adam Bischoff

Within TIFF's internal design studio the visuals for the Toronto International Film Festival were always the capstone of our year. Toronto hosts the largest public film festival in the world, ensuring it was our one project each year guaranteed to generate the most attention and scrutiny.

The creative identity for the Festival has the dual goals of setting the tone and visual identity of the 11-day event, but also promoting the sale of over 300,000 tickets to a mostly local audience. Starting in 2011, my design team began developing the creative in-house. We learned new lessons with each year's campaign and I think all of this crystallized with the 2017 identity, a.k.a Infinite Views.

(Click posters to enlarge)

Our 40th Festival in 2015 had been dedicated to celebrating the history of the event, but for 2016 we did an about-face and looked toward the future. We were tasked with celebrating the new technologies, new voices and above all, new audiences who would define the Festival.

Cameron Bailey, TIFF's Artistic Director, challenged us to create something that reflected Toronto as a dynamic, changing city. The city has recently seen a boom of young, highly-educated people settle in the downtown core where the Festival is based (19 – 39 year-olds represent almost 50% of the population of this area). The challenge was to develop a campaign that would appeal to our longtime festivalgoers, but also to this new audience that our research showed aren't necessarily as enthusiastic about the traditional cinema experience.

TIFF '16 Vinyl Decals
Ryan Gosling with TIFF creative
TIFF '16 newspapers
TIFF '16 Theatre Marquee
TIFF '16 Stage
TIFF '16 Vinyl Decal
TIFF '16 Vinyl Decal
Woman reading TIFF schedule
TIFF '16 Street Signage
TIFF '16 large format
TIFF '16 In Cinema

To celebrate both the connectivity and multitude of experiences offered by the festival, we wanted to put Toronto itself in the spotlight. Every September the city embraces the energy of the festival and opens its doors to the world to share in the buzz and excitement. 

At the same time we wanted to represent the role the Festival plays, the way it offers a new lens through which to look at the world.

Utilizing both familiar and unfamiliar aspects of Toronto's landscape we created a series of kaleidoscopic images which served as the key artwork for the campaign.

Infinite Views. The tagline is as multi-faceted as the visuals. It can be taken at face value: the literal sights of the city and at the Festival, or could represent the vast number of ideas, outlooks, or opinions found in the films and audiences.There are so many avenues into the Festival, and so many unique experiences to be had. With this campaign we wanted to encapsulate them all in abstract.

The TIFF legacy continues with our 41st Festival and our creative campaign focusing on Infinite Views. Through kaleidoscopic scenes of our wonderful city we are capturing the constant evolution of Toronto as well as spotlighting TIFF's mission of transforming the way people see the world through film."


— Piers Handling, TIFF CEO

My colleague Jordan Bowden was the lead designer on the project and alongside cinematographer Aaron Van Domelen, he and I scouted a number of locations around the city for photo and video shoots. 

Our original notion was to take the photos through a kaleidoscopic lens, but ultimately decided that creating the kaleidoscopic lens digitally would grant us the necessary flexibility for the wealth of collateral and advertising we needed for a 360° campaign.

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