Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture | 2019
Since 1985, over 50 cities across the European Union have carried the title of the European Capital of Culture. The overall goal of this initiative is to celebrate the cultural diversity in Europe and support culture driven development.
In August 2019, our hometown Tartu was named the European Capital of Culture 2024. After the champagne rivers had dried out, the next step for the team of Tartu 2024 was to make sure all the locals and tourists truly understood the impact of this title. What better way to stand out than using the billboards on the main street of Tartu! And this is where Homne came in.
A year ago, we had designed a set of billboards for the same place. Back then, the aim was to communicate the meaning of the competition. Now, the team of Tartu 2024 wanted to focus on the significance of the victory and the forthcoming events.
The project presented us with a perfect opportunity and a great challenge at the same time. We had the freedom to create something for everyone to see in the heart of the city. The challenge lied in the fact that the two-sided billboards, placed four in a row, were accessible from all sides.
⎮ So, how do you design billboards that tell a story, regardless of the distance?
We started to untagle this question by drawing maps to understand the different viewing angles of the billboards. This gave us great insight and laid the foundation for the creative direction.
With this in mind, we decided to take a dualistic approach. From a distance, the billboards formed a unified whole that looked like an installation. From close by, it would give the feel of an exhibition, where each billboard could be observed separately.
⎮ Visual dualism
The layout of each billboard is unique to provide diversity. To keep a smooth flow and add an organic touch, the pictures are integrated into the text with the occasional diagonal layout. To add contrast and freshness to the cityscape, we chose green as the background colour.
As you may our may not know, catching a glimpse of sunlight is not a daily privilege in Estonia.
We saw many pictures popping up in social media and the billboards got featured in media when Tartu 2024 Foundation was launched.
In the early stages of the project, we discovered that approaching from a certain angle, the number combination would be 4-2-0. So we discussed it with our client, who found it rather funny. Later, we also got feedback from our friends who had a good laugh about the 4-2-0 situation.
"With design project, we took a big leap forward in terms of the visual appearance of Tartu 2024. Despite following the visual guidelines, you turned a bold and attractive new page in the story of Tartu 2024. As of now, we have applied the iconic solution of the billboards to our new booklet as well. This shows that the change is more widely applicable."
— Kalle Paas, Tartu 2024 Communications and PR Manager
Project Lead: Mikko Leo Selg
Creative Direction: Jakob Päll
Art Direction, Graphic Design: Jakob Päll
Stop Motion: Mikko Leo Selg
Photos: Kiur Kaasik
© Homne 2020