Tribeca Festival

Brand Identity

Identity refresh and branding for the cultural event in New York City, launched to coincide with its twentieth anniversary.

First launched in the fall of 2001, the Tribeca Film Festival was originally created to help revitalize the cultural life of downtown Manhattan following the devastation of 9/11. Twenty years later, the Tribeca Festival is helping the city bounce back again, this time from the Covid-19 pandemic, with events that moved beyond its namesake neighborhood to venues large and small—indoors and outdoors—all over the city.

Pentagram has developed new branding for the 2021 Tribeca Festival that celebrates the vibrancy of the city, signals it is ready to reopen after the pandemic lockdown, and welcomes New Yorkers back to the party. The graphics are joyful and exuberant, and hint that the Festival is more than film—reflected by the change in the name. The project also includes a reworking of the Tribeca Festival logo for the 20th anniversary.

The Pentagram designers collaborated closely with the Festival’s Executive Producer Jane Rosenthal on the new look. Co-founded by Rosenthal and Robert DeNiro, the Tribeca Film Festival was conceived to help support the local economy in Lower Manhattan. Over the years, it has grown into one of the most popular and prestigious film festivals in the US, presenting major premieres along with a wealth of smaller films—and has distinguished itself by being especially open and welcoming to the public at large.

This year, the Festival organizers wanted to build on this tradition of engaging the community and bring everyone safely together again after months of isolation and social distancing. The new name reflects a wider focus for the Festival, which for the first time is expanding beyond film to also feature TV, art, comedy, talks, games, podcasts, immersive experiences and more, including Tribeca At Home, a series of virtual happenings.

The branding by Pentagram features colorful typography that moves and dances like people coming back together to celebrate. The feeling of excitement spreads throughout the city as the campaign incorporates images from all five boroughs. For the photography, the team researched contemporary and historical images that captured authentic and joyful “New York” moments and felt timeless, a nod to the Festival’s inception as a show of the city’s strength in the face of adversity.

The bold and expressive typography establishes a distinctive look for the Festival as it is applied across posters, banners, print and digital advertising, promotional swag and even a set of superscale three-dimensional letters placed outside theaters hosting premieres. The designers also created a series of the animated bumpers that run before the featured events and sub-brands for different categories such as “Immersive,” “Shorts,” etc. The primary typography is set in Druk (from Commercial Type), with secondary type is set in Basis Grotesque (from Colophon Foundry). The branding is accompanied by a reworked Tribeca Festival logo that marks the anniversary by highlighting the “20” in “2021.”

New York
Emily Oberman
Project team
Laura Berglund
Matt Varner
Katherine Killeffer
Jase Hueser
Anastasia Kharchenko
John Boran, Jr.
Beatriz Congar
View all images