EPIC 2018 Masthead

Women at Work: Jess Spaleta

Beatrice Smith

For designers, there’s nothing more thrilling than the task of tackling a giant.

For graphic designer Jess Spaleta, the task of rebranding Floriade for 2016 was her Everest. Tasked with giving the iconic festival a new ‘face’ ahead of a bumper year, Jess says she had to get over her intimidation quickly.

“Designing the Floriade branding for 2016 has been an unforgettable (and somewhat surreal) experience,” says Jess. “Being able to actively work alongside the amazing small team that bring this international event to life every year has been remarkable.”

Jess wanted to modernise and, dare we say, ‘floralise’ Floriade’s brand, and in doing so used a mixed medium of elements to bring a distinct mood together.

“I brought together a few different design elements to build the artwork,” explains Jess. “Watercolour, line work and texture create a versatile design that has movement and can be used either in its entirely or in parts depending on the medium and its application.

Pages from Floriade illustration concepts

“The team had quite a clear vision for what they wanted Floriade to be in 2016 and the coming years – so when designing the new look and feel illustrations I kept their inspirations and aspirations for the brand in mind.”

So aside from florals, what other elements do you draw upon to envision a new brand for one of Canberra’s biggest national and international tourist attractions?

“With Floriade, in its purest form, being a celebration of spring,” explains Jess. “I wanted the new look and feel to really embody the bright sun-filled days, blossoming flowers and aspirational energy that spring brings to Canberra.”

“The design uses soft but rich splashes of watercolour coupled with whimsical line drawings of flowers and botanics to create a look and feel that I think screams spring – giving the Floriade brand movement, life and versatility.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.50.02 am

Jess says her favourite parts of Floriade informed the design she proposed and played a big part in how representative the brand was.

“I really enjoy Floriade because it marks the start of Spring in Canberra which to me means the beginning of warmer weather – something us locals are more than ready for by the time September comes around!” says Jess.

“My favourite part of Floriade would have to just simply be the atmosphere – going along with friends, having a picnic lunch and people watching as Canberrans and visitors come out to enjoy the amazing flower displays, food and market stalls and entertainment.”

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“I am so excited to go this year and check out all of the amazing new highlights the Floriade team have been working on too!”

Jess explains that designing Floriade’s 2016 branding was a challenge, but her journey was just a small part of the overall picture.

“The work that I have done to help give Floriade a fresh new facelift has been nothing compared to the time and effort put in by the Floriade team,” says Jess.

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“In terms of my design process, the favourite part for me has been collaborating with the Floriade team to bring the design to life across so many different mediums that you will see around Canberra and at Floriade itself this year. “

Aside from a fresh new look, Floriade 2016 is full of surprises such as Campbell 5’s Hamptons chic garden party, delicious treats by Adriano Zumbo himself, more kids activities and even the option to bring home flowers from Floriade from The Floral Society.

Read our 11 Things Not to Miss at Floriade 2016 here.

the essentials

What: Floriade 2016: Life in Bloom
When: Saturday 17 September until Sunday 16 October
Where: Commonwealth Park
Web: www.floriadeaustralia.com

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author