IMMA, Ireland’s National Cultural Institution for Modern and Contemporary Art, has a diverse and ambitious programme of exhibitions, commissions and projects by leading Irish and international artists, as well as a rich engagement and learning programme which together provides audiences of all ages the opportunity to connect with contemporary art and unlock their creativity.
THINKHOUSE is a proud, long-term collaborator of IMMA’s. Since its inception, IMMA has been a space for activism and civic engagement, locally rooted and globally connected. In a world that is changing so rapidly, IMMA is constantly looking ahead, radically rethinking the role of the cultural institution and developing a boundary-pushing vision which focuses on its role as a radical public space and a catalyst for change. In this vein, IMMA largely works with the PLANET team, working on projects that aim to deliver on the pivotal role creativity and culture play in driving sustainable solutions. Over the past three years, we’ve partnered on various projects, delivering strategic development and positioning, as well as creative design and branding.
IMMA EARTH RISING
In 2022, THINKHOUSE partnered with IMMA to develop the strategy, brand positioning and creative branding for a sustainability focused festival. The inaugural event, EARTH RISING, saw a three day festival of free events come to life, with experiences aimed at addressing the climate crisis and inspiring collective action towards a sustainable and hopeful future.
Strategy & Brand Positioning
Our PLANET team was closely involved with the inception of EARTH RISING, collaborating with various partners and undertaking research to ensure it delivers on multiple impact fronts, including engaging new audiences (18-35 year olds and local residents). Born to deliver on the intention to host a weekend of climate-related programming, the very first EARTH RISING created a new space for public dialogue and discussion. The approach was to deliver on the unique role cultural organisations need to play in shifting attitudes to address climate change - from citizen engagement and community support, to sustainable arts practice and research towards regenerative solutions.
“With EARTH RISING, we wanted to create something that felt distinct from the rest of the IMMA programme. We embraced this idea of civic engagement around solutions and new possibilities for how people can live their lives - something that could agitate or invite people to question in a new way. It led to a dynamic response to an open call, projects that would never have been seen exhibited in the space before.” Laura Costello, Strategy Director, Purpose & Planet, THINKHOUSE
The brief for our creative team included the design of logo and colourways, creative social media assets and poster design. We developed a brand that is anchored in the ideas behind the event, drawing from themes of earth, sustainability, science and creativity. The design assets were made to draw the eye of a younger cohort and reach beyond the traditional museum-goers of Ireland and Dublin.
“The idea focused on cycles. Although visually focusing on the sun and moon cycles, the idea references the prominence of cycles in nature in general including seasons and growth and decay as well as the planets. The use of circular motifs and delicate typeface gives the design a celestial aesthetic and the use of gradients, a nod to the light and dark side of the moon.” Kate Dennehy, THINKHOUSE Designer, on the design elements.
The film team at THINKHOUSE was also on hand during the three day event to capture everything for an archive film, interviewing curators, artists and attendees to help support the ongoing narrative in the years to come.
EARTH RISING 2022 Impact
Showcasing the most exciting innovators in the field of eco-citizen science, design, and creativity, the pilot EARTH RISING event saw over 70 contributors (artist commissions, talks, workshops, and showcases). Over the three days, it planted the seeds of sustainability, enabling audiences of all ages to participate, discuss, experiment, and innovate - enabling intergenerational dialogue and empowering audiences to become agents of change.
It attracted 9,000 visitors - an 80% increase on the target attendance, nearly doubling the normal visitor numbers.
For the second year of Earth Rising, THINKHOUSE developed a complete new visual identity for the festival. Climate change can be a distressing topic for a lot of people, so this year we decided to focus on the positive aspects of people coming together and making a change.
With the visual style, we took inspiration from the cyclical movement of nature and how it can grow and repair itself. This was achieved by using abstract images of natural imagery encased within angular organic shapes that changed into each other, creating its own cycle.
Some of the outputs we created for this years festival included a 30 second trailer, a suite of social assets, two Out of Home large scale posters, two digital micromedia animations that were displayed on screens across Dublin city, a print advertisement featured in Totally Dublin, as well as internal signage to be used at the festival itself.
“THINKHOUSE has been a brilliant extension of the IMMA team in delivering on our shared, ambitious, vision for EARTH RISING - so much so, that some of its Planet team members are sharing expertise as part of our TALKS programme over the course of the festival too! From the strategic thinking to the creative outputs, everything has set us up to drive new levels of engagement with climate solutions.” Lisa Fitzsimons, Acting Head of Audiences and Development, IMMA
EARTH RISING 2023 IMPACT
An increase of +84% in visitors compared to 2022.
For IMMA’s 30th birthday, THINKHOUSE was commissioned to design a bespoke logo mark and an assortment of assets. IMMA30 was IMMA's first-ever animated logo reflecting 30 years of IMMA and marking its 30th Birthday in 2021.
The aim of the logo mark was to embrace the IMMA community and artists, but also to reflect on the stories and memories from the last 30 years. For the logo, our design department wanted to create a bespoke piece that would reflect the old, while representing the new and what may come from IMMA in the future. Our design team worked closely with the IMMA team to create a number of assets including the bespoke logo mark (animated and still), social media branding and posts, and email signatures.
Adding to the IMMA logo, we created a custom 30; taking elements of the original typeface, we created a bold geometric 3 and utilised the 0 as a window that allows the viewer to see 30 years of IMMA's past + present. For the animation, the brand colours movement through our logo is used as a form of timeline, while the IMMA stills from the past 30 years animate through our 0 window. The images are interchangeable and can be applied for various formats and faculties whilst sitting under the umbrella of IMMA's 30th-anniversary celebrations. In THINKHOUSE, we always think digital-first and we have built the IMMA30 logo to live inside the gallery as a playfully agile piece on screens, representing new world digital design.