Vast in both its ambition and geography, DESERT X is the biennial exhibition of original, site specific artworks spread across the Coachella Valley. Curator Neville Wakefied sees this desert expanse as a stimulating canvas in the way it prompts challenges for artists. Working closely with Wakefield, we developed the exhibition’s branding then around two central themes: control vs. nature.
LOGO + GRID SYSTEM
Inspiration for the logo and design system came from the area itself. The minimalism of the desert. The grid of Palm Springs and the surrounding Valley. The wide dispersal of the installation sites. And because the act of finding the art is so important to the experience, we play on a treasure map where X marks the spot and coordinates become our language.
For the naming and identity we took a non-design approach to capture the environment — unadorned, essential. And our grid system informed the stochastic placement of typography. There is always a sense of being responsive to the elements too. With the posters that call out each artist, we represent the light of the desert sky as it shifts with time of day, temperature, season.
THE EXPERIENCE CONTINUES
Originally conceived as a singular event, DESERT X has gone on to become a biennial exhibition in the Coachella Valley. Neville Wakefield and the DESERT X team have also now partnered with curators to develop a DESERT AIULA exhibition in Saudi Arabia — the site is home to first UNESCO world heritage site in the country. Expanding. Extending. Connecting desert communities and cultures through contemporary art.
SOCIAL + DIGITAL
For digital, we followed the same guiding principles of the identity but had the added challenge of capturing its spirit for visitors who were not physically on site. To inspire people to visit, promote the artists, and extend the experience of DESERT X to a broader audience.