Smeerboel Festival

An organized mess

Brand strategy
Brand identity
Bespoke tool
Motion design
Digital strategy

The Dutch techno and house festival Smeerboel makes Utrecht go wild every September, together with a wide range of artists, a crazy fringe program, and dazzling party atmosphere. It attracts around 20.000 visitors, aged between twenty and forty. In English, Smeerboel directly translates to smearing mess.
The organization asked us for a rebrand that allows for variation in each edition. We worked on a living identity which would embrace the playfulness of both the event and the audience. The research resulted in a brightly colored design system where the behavior of smeren (‘smearing’) takes center stage.

To achieve a truly living identity – where even the client themselves can drive the creation of various expressions across multiple outlets – we introduced the Smeer Tool: a custom-made online tool simulating brush strokes. The festival team can adjust its parameters, such as thickness and speed, and transform them into expressions for both static and moving elements. From posters to digital campaigns to festival decorations: the possibilities are endless. But all undeniably Smeerboel.

Also, the festivalgoers could engage in smearing by realizing a Smeer Tool-Instagram filter. With finger movements, they can personally spread out the design as they like.

“This was my first collaboration with Lava, and I was very impressed. From just one (introductory) session about our brand, they hit the mark immediately with artwork that resonated with what we were looking for: playful, colorful, recognizable, and easy to use on our own. I am delighted with the new direction we have taken together with Lava.”
-Robin Sandifort
Head of Marketing Elevation Events

Check out the festival merchandise designed with help of the Smeer-Tool: hand fans and oversized t-shirts in contrasting colour schemes. The products were sold on the spot and online.

Next Project
Making architectural complexity imaginable

Let’s break new ground together

Book a chat or give us a call