The inspiration behind our 2024 branding

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February 2, 2024
Sydney Festival
How artworks, installations and icy cold drinks ended up as a 3D S

From mirror balls to gold leaf, from Jenny Kee’s Unioz stripe to a Huxleys-sized glitter-dump; each year we collaborate with our design partner Re (M&C Saatchi Group) to reinvent the ‘S’ with bright and bold new textures that evoke the art of summer and look damn good doing it. This year’s four fabulous S-textures showcased the vibrant splash of culture that is Sydney Festival, presenting a visual preview of the innovative art and unforgettable experiences that the summer of ‘24 held instore.


From the vibrant alleys of Rio de Janeiro, Encantado summoned the spirits of healing in a dance both lively and profound. Inspired by the very exuberance of the performance, these graphic fabrics dance around, intertwining in a riot of patterns and shades. Unapologetically extravagant, it encapsulates the very soul of carnival festivity.

Big Name, No Blankets

Big Name, No Blankets was a celebration of the legendary Australian icons, the Warumpi Band. The rock’n’roll theatrical spectacle paid homage to their artistic legacy. The side panel of the S, reminiscent of an amplifier, hints at the band’s powerful amplification of indigenous voices, stories and political stances. The rugged surface, with its deep wood undertones, perfectly captures the raw, rock’n’roll essence they embodied.

Michael Shaw’s Hi-Vis

Bridging the realms of sculpture and architecture, Michael Shaw crafts inflatables that use buildings as the canvas that moulds his innovative creations. For our collaboration, we envisioned an 'S' that is both striking and unforgettable. Its surface, an ever-shifting abstract display, seems to pulsate with life. Constantly evolving in form, it dominates and defines the space it occupies.

Summer Countdown

It’s the big S that signified the start of the year, the start of the season and a sense of celebration. It's all about fun, long days and longer nights with the warm colours and hazy translucence instantly transporting you there. This texture was inspired by our full-swing Festival takeover, The Thirsty Mile.

Big thanks to our partners Re, an award-winning brand-led design and experience agency with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York, Stockholm and Dubai. The company has been a Festival partner since 2021, when the team launched a full redesign of our branding to help usher in a new creative era for Sydney Festival under the stewardship of Festival Director Olivia Ansell.


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