Winners: Small Integrated Agency of the Year. Find out more.

background image

Key themes from OFFF Barcelona

Cover Image for Key themes from OFFF Barcelona

At the end of March, we headed to Barcelona for OFFF – a 3-day festival bringing together creatives, designers, artists, and thinkers.

If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen this isn’t your traditional work conference, but a proper celebration of all things creative that takes over the incredible Museu del Disseny. Even better, it’s sponsored by Moritz which means beer on tap. What’s not to love?!

This year saw 4500 people from 65 countries attend to see 78 speakers, and we noticed some common themes.

Turning adversity into opportunity

From freelancers and artists to big-name agencies, many spoke about how the pandemic caused work to be pulled overnight and the strains this caused financially and mentally.

For some, this resulted in a necessity to change their work; for others, it presented an opportunity to create self-initiated work that has led to big things. Craig Black started his acrylic fusion project in lockdown – beautifully intriguing and fascinating patterns made by simply pouring paint onto footballs.

What started as an art project quickly developed an online following and a commercial vision to work at the World Cup. In 2022, this vision became a reality when FIFA invited him to create an acrylic fusion ball for each nation competing in the tournament.

Managing the brief

On a practical level, Aardman’s Creative Director, Gavin Strange, Spanish design studio Vasava, and Google Creative Lab all spoke about managing the brief.

Gavin spoke about the never-ending conflict for designers of balancing creativity and practicality, and seeing constraints as a good thing to provide focus and results.

Google Creative Lab discussed their approach to the creative brief, ensuring the team working on the project rewrites it to get the best possible outcomes. They also make sure everyone on the project is a driver rather than a passenger, all working together to achieve a goal. This approach resonates with us – making a project collaborative rather than agency vs client.

Vasava simply summed up their attitude of working ‘for the brand, with the client’ – a great way to create a collaborative approach and avoid personal preferences getting in the way.

Collaborating with the right people

Many of the projects showcased at OFFF were only a success because of the collaborative efforts of artists, creatives, and studios coming together.

We know from our own experience that great work comes from collaborating with others who can bring a new perspective or skill to a project, or even challenge the thinking in a constructive way.

Away from the talks, a highlight was networking with others we had followed on socials for ages, alongside new faces and names. We’ve already got some ideas of how we could collaborate with some of the designers, artists, and motion designers.

We’re looking forward to using the inspiration and advice gathered over the 3 days.

¡Hasta pronto OFFF!

Join our newsletter

Enter your email address below to receive news and insights from the EXP team.

Latest posts

Got a project in mind? Let’s talk.

Got a brand or digital project in mind? We’d love to chat about how we can help you.

Tom Grattan

+44 (0)1524 388104