Mother Design & Netflix Is A Joke Fest

The party outfit for a world-renowned entertainment brand (Read more)

Few events in Los Angeles, California have a footprint as large as Netflix Is A Joke Fest, a live, 12-day stand-up comedy festival featuring 400+ artists performing 500+ shows in 35+ venues. Ahead of this year’s festival, Netflix partnered with Mother Design to create a new visual system for the event’s 2024 return.

The task was layered: the identity needed to build on Netflix’s existing Netflix Is A Joke brand system (but, being a new brand, still feel like Netflix), represent LA, and exude a very specific humor. The system also needed to be user-friendly and nimble—as it would be utilized by a handful of different teams working across a wide range of materials—and clearly disseminate a massive amount of information (up to 150 names in one poster). What’s more, because of the festival’s impact in Los Angeles—supporting local comedy venues and giving back to the LA community—Mother Design needed to ensure that the new identity felt uniquely Angeleno.

We began by tapping into the city’s guerilla sticker-bombing culture to create a unique, versatile, party-outfit-of-a-design-system that could be applied on top of, and in harmony with, the existing NIAJ brand identity. Entitled “Slap, Stick,” the visual system is Swiss modernism with a pricing gun: anchored in the core NIAJ palette of black and white, but semi-chaotically layered in colorful “stickers.” These stickers act not only as the vehicle for disseminating information—from festival specifics, to wayfinding and merch—but as the perfect tool for situational humor. Stickers adorn performers, façades … even a garbage truck.

As for copy, we penned the festival’s hero line—“You can’t spell ‘laugh’ without ‘LA’ and ‘ugh’”—and worked hard to embrace the brand’s dry, self-aware humor without sounding pandering or fraudulent to LA natives. The writing, therefore, forgoes location-based “inside jokes” in favor of resonating tonally with locals, comedy enthusiasts, and generally conscious people anywhere.

Mother Design & Netflix Is A Joke Fest

The party outfit for a world-renowned entertainment brand (Read more)

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