C-HR Berlin Festival

C-HR Berlin — Innovation & Creativity Festival

Client: Toyota Deutschland
Agencies: Popular Communication, Marbet (Germany)
Art Direction: Tom Woollard
Photography: Tom Woollard

Exploring the pressing world issues we face today and in years to come, the C-HR Festival brought together visionary opinion leaders from around the globe to speak, teach, perform and propose their unique perspectives on how we together can build a brighter future and live healthier lifestyles. With diverse backgrounds in areas such as art, design, photography, fashion, music, technology, ecology, architecture, social media, social business, science and nutrition — each speaker presented their vision of a sustainable tomorrow. Sponsored by the new Toyota C-HR hybrid car, and masterminded by creative director Arnd Greve at Popular Communication, the C-HR Festival hosted workshops and events during the day, climaxing with diverse live music acts in the evenings — a two week creative and innovative hotspot in the heart of the buzzing Mitte district of Berlin.

I was commissioned to art direct and design the key visual style for the festival as well as document the festival photographically.

This project won a Gold Medal at the Golden Award of Montreux.


Art Direction

The festival aimed at bringing together the thinkers, makers, movers and shakers — people who are passionate about innovation and creativity — those on the front line of progress, and those who hold a social and global conscience for positive change that benefits our generation as well as generations of the future. 

Steve Jobs once talked about the method of creativity and innovation as simply ‘connecting the dots’ of ones past experiences & thoughts to bring about something new for ones future. In effect, creating a ‘hybrid’ of past ideas to form a new idea. The best combined, to make something better.

The Toyota C-HR is a very progressive hybrid car for the modern world, and of course the theme of ‘hybrid’ is fitting for the diversity and mix of the hip creative community in Berlin and the themes of the guest speakers at the festival.

I created the key visuals for the festival based on the hybrid theme, combining iconic pieces of Berlin fused with urban and natural elements as reference to the topics of the festival guest speakers. Since the sponsorship of the Toyota C-HR car was literally the ‘vehicle’ for making the festival possible, the distinctive taillights of the C-HR were graphically used as an abstract representation of movement, progress, direction, speech and thought — the spread of a concept by hearing an idea, formulating a thought and voicing those thoughts for others to hear. 


Development & Roll Out

Promoting the festival event around Berlin called for an adaptable brand with elements that could stand alone or be integrated to work across a variety of mediums, such as magazine adverts, street posters, billboards and merchandise. Starting with minimal teasers campaigns, we steadily rolled out more detailed promotions as the event drew closer.


The visuals and brand were then adapted for social media and live streaming platforms, generating interest and followers from people around the world who could not personally be at the event. 


The Car Visual

The Toyota C-HR hybrid car was a key component of the festival and an example of how modern technology can be used to bring us a step closer to a sustainable lifestyle whilst enjoying the features and creature-comforts usually associated with luxury automobiles. After creating the key visual for the festival in Berlin, I was commissioned to create 4 more visuals in-keeping with the flavour of the festival for the major cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich. Using the iconic Fernsehturm (tv tower) from each city as a container for the C-HR spirit, the visuals were used for other music events held by Toyota in the respective cities.

The Venue: Kaufhaus Jandorf, Berlin-Mitte

Originally used as a department store, then a fashion house, this early 20th century building in Berlin Mitte was an empty shell before the C-HR Festival.

All the interior features, furniture and lighting had to be designed and installed by the two agencies. The branding and key visuals were proliferated throughout the space, given life and purpose when integrated into the ambitious project. The branding continued into the details which meant designing additional wall graphics, menus, stickers and the festival programme. Combined with the truly spectacular transformation of the interior, the building went from semi-abandoned to a fully realised vibrant arts & music festival space that became our home for the next two weeks.

The streets of Berlin were also playing host to the posters announcing the C-HR Festival...

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V.I.P. Invitations

To launch the festival, a big pre-opening party was scheduled for the night before opening to the public. Special guests of celebrities, influencers, top bloggers and creative teams were sent V.I.P invitations to join the celebration. The invites were designed especially for their speciality niche such as food and fashion.


The Festival Photos

During the two weeks of inspirational guest speakers, live music performances and spontaneous happenings, I took thousands of photographs to capture the epic festival community who joined and contributed to expanding minds, pursuing excellence and celebrating creative and innovative advances we can and are making to build the world of tomorrow... 

Wrap-up 'THANKS' Video — made by Popular Communication