Established in 1977, Frameline is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “the funding, exhibition, distribution and promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media arts”. Its most well-known initiative is the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest-running LGBTQ film exhibition event in the world with an annual attendance of 63,000. Since 2004, the festival has adopted Frameline as its name and appends the annual edition number to it (i.e., this year’s 40th edition is called Frameline40). The organization also has a distribution program that specializes in sales and rentals to educational institutions, public libraries, film festivals, and community groups; and the Frameline Completion Fund provides grants to emerging and established filmmakers. Last week Frameline introduced a new identity designed by the San Francisco, CA, office of Mucho.
We wanted to create an identity that really resonated with the idea of inclusivity. The resulting ‘frame’ logo with a capital ‘F’ and queer ‘L’ (as we like to refer to it), creates an image that becomes instantly recognizable, flexible—as it opens out to highlight type and imagery and works well at small sizes for social media applications. Pairing this logo with black and white photography of film props and clever copy by David Begler has resulted in a witty, yet sophisticated look and feel for this year’s festival.
Mucho provided text
The old logo wasn’t much of a logo — could have easily passed for a window-framing business — but at least it wasn’t badly done. The new logo turns the somewhat basic concept of framing a scene with the thumb and index finger of both hands and turns it into a smart, relevant, flexible logo for the organization. In the full wordmark the concept isn’t as clear as in the shorthand monogram where the bottom right frame looks like an odd underline but once you see the “FL” monogram it makes sense. The monogram is quite simple and serves as an excellent device for the social-media-driven world, fitting perfectly in a square while also adapting nicely to all kinds of applications.
For institutional materials the logo does exactly what you would expect it to do — the “F” goes to one corner, the “L” to the opposite — to frame each piece of collateral. Expected? Yes. Satisfying? Very.
For the festival, the “F” —> “L” configuration is extended by framing different silhouetted images or larger display copy to solid effect. The ads in particular are a pleasant application that nicely integrate longer copy and sponsors. As a kind of side note, some devoted BN readers might be reminded of this identity for Staatsgalerie Stuttgart that also has a framing logo that splits in two and heads to the corners of the layout. This shows how easy it is in our field to reach similar concepts and similar executions without anyone stealing anything from anyone else but simply operating with the same tools and visual/cultural references. Anyway… the institutional and festival identity for Frameline is a finely tuned execution that eschews the clichéd bombastic expectations of what an LGBTQ identity should look like in favor of a minimal, subtle design that still comes across loud and proud.