“La Mercè 18” won the Award of Excellence in Advertising, Communications Arts Magazine, 2019 & the Institutional Gold Medal, NYC Society of Illustrators, 61 Edition
La Mercè festivities is the moment in the year when Barcelona takes time out of being a busy, bustling city to become a giant display of traditions and ancient well-loved culture, but also talent, creativity, music and love for the arts. It is when all citizens get together to celebrate the beauty of their city.
La Mercè is the saint patron of the city of Barcelona, and is also a name and figure of a woman. Together with the illustrator Sonia Pulido, we developed a concept of a strong woman with grounded feet that opens her arms in a welcoming way, and is surrounded with every other Mercè in the city – women of different forms, races and styles, expressing Barcelona's multiplicity and generous culture. There is not one Mercè in Barcelona, there are many, and they all coexist in this colourful cape that the city patron provides to enjoy the festivity.
Color was itself a vibrant element that played an essential role to visually represent the different activities and it was broadly combined, from the logo to the illustrations. Every event, from music to dance, circus or tradition had its own Mercè(s) and was illustrated with a vibrant strong character that filled the streets in joyful bliss.
The campaign required a tone which was not only friendly and festive but which also had to convey the idea of coexistence, participation, and togetherness. We used the colourful circus tent as a graphic element to involve the different pieces throughout the city.
Typographically we have customised the Futura Extra Bold Condensed, made popular thanks to the work of two references of the contemporary feminist movement: the Guerrilla Girls collective and the conceptual artist Jenny Holzer. We redrawn the font by hand, inspired by the hand-made poster signages of the massive demonstrations of the International Women's Day that year. We wanted to provide a more human and endearing aspect, which would be integrated with the style of the illustration, and also have a disruptive point with the status quo.