For the last week of the Graphic Design Festival Breda, Lisette Spee from the festival organisation kept a blog.
Today is the last day of the Graphic Design Festival. I am witness to this last day as the keeper of Sweatshop. The last day at a festival that lasts six weeks is every bit as special as the last day of one that lasts four days.
But the last day of a six-week festival goes by rather more quietly. I’ve heard people saying that a festival shouldn’t go on so long, while others have told me they were glad to have the chance to see things at their own convenience. I’ve read critical pieces by people who have quite correctly pointed out a number of areas for improvement, and I’ve also read texts by people whose main goal was to vent their frustration without doing any background research. For the rest, the pieces were quite entertaining, especially when they were written by lawyers.
It feels a bit like doing your final exam at the end of your first year: everything is new, but you have to get it right first time: the critical media and the outside world are merciless. They get their teeth into everything that could be important, but they also have to look around more widely. If you succeed, you’re taken seriously by the big world out there. If you fail, you’ll have to invest some of your energy in panel beating your dented image for the next time.
I regard the Graphic Design Festival Breda as a success – not only because of what the small organisation that is behind it has achieved, but also because nearly all the visitors I spoke to were very enthusiastic. The installations at various locations and the projects of the festival ensured a wide and varied offering.
This festival showed Graphic Design in its many guises: printed matter, handicrafts, history, autonomous art, street art, theatre, animation, portfolios: all of it shown to the public at exhibitions, workshops, performances, presentations and even in films. And when we thought we’d considered every facet of Graphic Design, ideas and suggestions continued to stream in. This proves that the Festival can still grow, and also, therefore, that it can continue to inspire designers.
The first edition has come to an end, but the Graphic Design Festival has just started; in two years’ time, there’ll be another one! That will be in 2010, which feels an age away. When I was a kid, I thought that everyone would be getting about in flying cars by then. Who knows, if Opel sponsors the Festival again, we could reach new heights in 2010...
When I began to write this piece, I’d had 35 visitors; now the counter is at 80. I’m proud to have had as many visitors. This is no theme park, but a Graphic Design exhibition.
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