Championing Visual Concept through Streetfest

Curio Studio | Case Study

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival has been putting a smile on the faces of Edmontonians for over 30 years. Since the festival began in 1984, Streetfest has made almost four million people laugh on Churchill Square with magicians, clowns, aerialists, comedians, sword swallowers, fire eaters and more.


In 2009, Streetfest asked Curio to develop a campaign look for the entire festival. We organized a photo shoot in downtown Edmonton, featuring regular Edmontonians living and working, but with a peculiar difference … they had clowns and stilt walkers hanging out among them.

Since then, Curio has continued to develop memorable, conceptual work for Streetfest. We’ve worked closely with both StreetFest and festival producer Bottom Line Productions to develop unique photographic, illustrative and typographic campaigns, year after year. The annual campaign look we create is typically applied to a full advertising and outdoor campaign, print collateral, apparel, on-site signage, and online.

The results:

Streetfest has steadily gained popularity as one of the signature annual festivals in Edmonton. The 2012 Festival broke an all time attendance record—over 265,000 people attended over the course of ten days.


The target audience for Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is vast, encompassing families, seniors, youth and everything in between. The common thread among this wide demographic is they like to smile. We’d like to think that the design work we produce for Streetfest not only brightens people’s day, but compels them to seek out even more laughs on the Square.

Curio is one of my favourite graphic design firms ever! They are current, creative, adaptable, timely, organized, and genuinely good people. I’d recommend them to anyone in need of a new look, brand or event design. They look out for their clients, giving them the very best advice and options in this extremely competitive world of marketing.”

Darka Tarnawsky, President

Bottom Line Productions

Why is visual concept so important?

A visual concept is the “big idea” behind any design. We could think of concepts in terms of planning, the thinking, or logic behind a particular project. But really, it can be so much more than this. A visual concept can mean something deeper, something that evokes an emotion or a pause in the viewer. The quality of the concept determines the success of the design, and the choices we make in the design should complement
the concept.

Concept is one of the most important components to a successful design, so Curio focuses a lot of attention on this part of the process. This will result in a final product we can all be proud of.


How does Curio make amazing concepts?

First, we define the problem and gather as much information as possible. It’s important for us to understand the clients’ business, look at competitors, do interviews and develop a creative brief. It’s our responsibility to ask questions, listen and figure out what kind of language your industry speaks.

From there, we make lists, create mind maps, build moodboards and, most importantly, sketch ideas with a pencil and paper. Some ideas may be literal, some abstract, some message based, some graphically based. A large volume of ideas will be explored at this stage.

Once we have decided on a strong direction, we build out the creative in such a way that you look at it and easily understand the vision and reasoning. Finally, we present this work to you, explain it and hope you’ll fall in love.

Want to work with Curio? Contact Us!