It always starts with a vision, a topic we want to explore. Very soon, we will find ourselves digging for information and being overwhelmed by our own thoughts. That’s when we have to gather our inspiration.  This year, we saw shared idea documents and 400MB worth of pictures taken with our phone.

At one point, we have to break it down to a motto.

& then we know exactly whom to call.

> Zwupp 

The design studio Zwupp has been the genius behind Forward Festival’s design for years now.

These guys know exactly how to turn our inspiration overflow into the festival design we had in mind but didn’t know we did.

This year, they did it again.




Forward What’s the first step for you when it comes to a new festival design?

Zwupp Researching everything that relates loosely to the topic. Collecting it, sorting it and looking through it over and over again until first ideas and images pop up in our minds. From there we will sketch our first drafts and the design process evolves until we’re happy with the result.



Forward We went from very flashy with last year’s “The Odd One Out” to this year’s very minimalist “DIGITAL EYES”. Which approach feels more natural to your personal style?

Zwupp It’s the diversity of ideas and therefore the diversity of designs we are drawn to. We like to visually challenge ourself, but in the end, we always try to make it a Zwupp style anyways. Whatever that means.



Forward When it comes to this year’s minimalist illustrations, we see recurring objects like lenses and waves. What was the decision process behind that?

Zwupp There were tons of fitting objects in the first place. The final ones just naturally evolved from the research and sketch process. 

Forward Did you consider going 3D and if so, why did you decide against it?

Zwupp Budget.



Forward What’s something you have learned throughout several years of creating festival designs?

Zwupp Like everywhere, experience helps and gives you confidence. For festival designs, this means making conscious decisions early on – what will work and what will not. You get kind of a ‘routine’, which helps you organize and reduce the workload. A big challenge though is developing a festival design for many years. It’s about being consistent while evolving at the same time.



Forward Which one of the pieces you have created for DIGITAL EYES are you happiest with personally?

Zwupp We think this year’s design has its strength in being a modular and flexible system where all illustrations and text modules interact as needed. So there is no ‘one piece’ in particular for us, it’s the combination and the whole system, which makes us ‘happy’ every year.

Forward Which part of the festival are you looking forward to most?

Zwupp We are looking forward to a broader pool of speakers dealing with this year’s topic. While listening to other graphic designers is perfect  – giving us great inspiration and input – we also love listening to speakers from different fields who provide you with approaches and ideas you will simply not find in your research folder.