Client: Valencia City Council
Designers: Joan Quirós & Luis Demano
About the Project
Fallas is the most important celebration in Valencia and in some towns of the Valencian Community, inscribed at the end of 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.
The Valencia City Council, supported by a jury formed by professionals from different disciplines related to graphic communication, chose us, Valencia-based illustrator Luis Demano and me, to create the poster for the Fallas of the year 2017.
In this case, the challenge for us was to convey and communicate graphically everything which encompasses the festivity, in order to connect with the target audience, but above all, with those people outside the party to invite them to participate in the largest event celebrated in Valencia.
Our solution was to develop a proposal in which the 5 senses were the guiding thread of the visual narrative, dedicating a poster to each one of them in which the festive imaginary was the protagonist.
And just as Las Fallas is a festivity that stimulates all our senses, we wanted to represent each of the facets of the celebration by framing them in a popular and inclusive environment, emphasizing those qualities and cultural aspects that define us as a people: gastronomy, music, craftsmanship, human warmth and shared closeness.
This festivity would have no meaning without the hard work that surrounds monument. This manual effort, which involves the work of a whole year, is reflected in a work that gives off craftsmanship and creativity. The scene of a Plantà "al tombe", is one of the best examples of all this, a special choreography in which the manual force and the last touches of color puts everything ready to be exhibited with pride every day from the party.
For that reason, it was for us unavoidable to represent this collective action sample that marks the beginning of the Fallas.
If there is something that characterizes Valencia is its great musical tradition, which is present throughout the Fallas festivity. This passion for music is admirable, especially when the protagonists of these melodies are the people of the neighborhood, who practice them with passion during the year in the many music schools that exist in our city, and that during these days give us the best of themselves to fill our streets and squares with joy to the rhythm of the popular songbook.
On the other hand, the powerful sound of pyrotechnics makes this sense go beyond all sensory barriers and end up booming in our chest.
The Despertà is the maximum expression of this sense, within which the deafening sound of firecrackers coexists with well-ordered and rhythmic musical melodies.
Claiming one of the typical Valencian flavors in Fallas, we have represented a traditional bunyoleria as protagonist, framed in a festive atmosphere, in which the local gastronomy is put in value in front of the big fast food chains. Taking advantage, also, the graphic representation of the environment to value the uniqueness of the Valencian architecture and the wide sample of traditional facades that exists in our city.
If we look more closely at this image, we can appreciate the use of a typical Nolla mosaic design, vindicating the work of Miguel Nolla Bruget, founder of the Valencian Nolla Mosaic Factory, one of our favorite references in terms of local design.
One of the senses that is most boosts in this festivity is the smell, being the Ofrenda its maximum exponent. The smell of the flowers is awakening our olfactory nerves as we get closer to the Plaza de la Virgen in which is considered by many Valencians, believers or not, one of the most emotional moments of the festivity.
Another of the most exciting festive events for us is the Mascletá, where in addition to the auditory spectacle, we are fascinated by one of the most characteristic smells in these festivity, the gunpowder, which permeates our squares after a good mascletà, a smell that could almost be classified as addictive.
The sight plays a fundamental role in the festivity of the Fallas, starting with the intense colors of the Fallas monuments, passing through the castles of the Nit del Foc (Night of Fire) and ending with the great protagonist of our party: the fire. Those tones and those hypnotizing forms that capture all our attention at the peak moment of the party: the cremà. That fire that seduces us, inviting us to stay until it finishes its most important work: Close one more chapter and give way to the Fallas of the following year with renewed illusions, to continue transmitting to the new generations our passion for the Fallas.
The Valencian Government in collaboration with the city council, hired us to do a version for them which would gather the five posters in one to be distributed in all the towns and cities in the Valencian Community where Fallas are celebrated.
Luis and I worked together in the creation of each of the posters, developing in unison the different sketches that would compose them, combining our specialties: illustration, lettering and calligraphy.
To do this, we started to create a unique composition for all the posters, to reinforce the concept of series, creating a header with calligraphy that was repeated in each of them and operated as a logo in different applications.
In turn, we elaborated by hand and in a schematic way the sketches for each of the posters, defining the composition, the elements that would appear and how we would combine our disciplines to create a harmonious set that would communicate everything we wanted to transmit.
Once all this was defined, we developed, detailing and refining each of the posters with digital tools until we obtained a definitive file ready to be sent to the press and be displayed in different parts of the city.
We also made some adaptations to announce the different events which happened during the week of the festivity, following the graphic line of the main posters and creating new elements and calligraphy layouts for each of them.
Working on a project of this magnitude implies the creation of different communication pieces for the events and the tourist offices as well as merchandising elements for their use as a souvenir and for the promotion of the festivity.