Threshold, Liverpool's festival of grassroots music and arts, will be celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. Fittingly, the 2015 theme revolves around the letter V; meaning both five in roman numerals, and 'versus'. Lead designer James Kirkham (IXIOD) explains how he used typography to create the new identity.


“Initially we wanted to use Russian Constructivism, but this idea was expanded to include movements like Cubism and Geometric abstraction, and be more about pure form. I suggested we try and use a stylised typeface across the board, which would tie the various elements of the Festival together (music, art, film, performance, discussion).”


The basis for the font’s design is inspired heavily by the Art Deco typeface 'Bifur'; developed in 1929 by Cassandre, a Paris-based graphic designer and artist famous for typography-dominated posters and graphics. Vixur is derived from ‘pure shapes like circles, squares & triangles’; the iconic V is an equilateral triangle and every character strictly follows set angles of 30 degrees.


The font is a part of the artwork itself; festival posters use patterns derived from the V motif, and the teaser video shows shapes turning into letters in a small nod towards the opening titles of the film ‘Alien’. “I’ve actually ended up creating three font styles; two which overlay for the 'two-tone' effect used in titling, and a more legible version for larger blocks of text. They’re designed to be used with different colour palettes, so each part of the festival can have its own identity.”


Threshold Festival takes place from 27 – 29 March in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool and tickets are available here. There are also lots of great volunteering positions at the event, offering staff loads of free stuff as well as the opportunity to catch the next big thing and be part of a brilliant team. If that sounds up your street, please complete the application form here.


Find out more about the history of typography at our current exhibition, Type Motion, which closes this Sunday.