Big Top, Small Island
Simon Roy’s Identity and Campaign for a Secluded Circus
February 26, 2021
Simon Roy, FESTIVAL DE CIRQUE DES ÎLES, Community Design-Series, 2020 Design Awards winner.
Montreal-based Simon Roy designed an identity and campaign for the inaugural Festival de Cirque des Îles, which seeks to bring the greatest show to a small archipelago.
Our Community Design Awards are exclusively for Canadian artists and firms working with smaller communities and businesses to help them get the recognition they richly deserve.
- Small Community - The entrant and client must be in a community of less than 500,000.
- Small Business - The client must be a single-establishment/small business, such as a restaurant, local retailer or service.
- Shoe-string Budget - The budget for the assignment must have been extremely limited.
With a rich history of carnival barkers and characters like P.T. Barnum circuses are the definition of attention grabbing. But what if your circus takes place in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence accessible only by air or sea?
The Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine in French) are a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and a part of the province of Quebec. Known for their startling natural beauty, which includes kilometre upon kilometre of white sand beaches and sandstone cliffs that are being blown away like popcorn bags outside of the big top, the Magdalen Islanders, a community of just under 13,000 as of 2011, count on tourism as one of their major industries.
The first edition of the Festival de Cirque des Îles took place during the summer of 2019 on those slowly eroding islands. To draw patrons (we won’t call them rubes) to the festival’s three rings, Montreal-based agency Simon Roy produced branding and a campaign that drew not only upon the flora and fauna of the archipelago, but also the classic iconography of circuses.
Featuring whales, lobsters, crabs, fish, boats, and acrobats adorned in classic circus stripes and bold primary colours, with typography that arcs like a daring trapeze artist, Simon Roy’s award-winning treatment also expresses the remote location of the festival with the use of negative space and vast seascapes.
The Festival de Cirque des Îles branding and campaign is a perfect example of our Community Design Awards category, which has been updated to be more inclusive this year. In the past, if work had been submitted to a non-Community category, Brand Identity for example, it could not be entered into the Community categories. However, that is no longer the case, work made within the eligibility period of March 2020 and March 2021 can be entered in Community and non-Community categories as desired. So, come one, come all!
The Design Awards deadline is March 5, 2021