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About the Design

September 26, 2023
Row of posters on a wall spelling out SDAFF

Every year the SDAFF identity is established by a different independent artist. By some auspicious miracle, we got to work with the graphic design team of Eunjoo Hong, Hyungjae Kim and Yelin YI based out of Seoul. Their imagination took our festival to new depths, as we leaned into the chaotic unrest and reveled in the messy, unpolished forms we take on. We took issue with a certain insult hurled at the 2023 film Joyride — “All shock value, ‘look at me’ attitude” — and decided to make it our mantra.

For 2023, we’re owning our monstrosity, living our villain era, and waving a glamorous middle finger at what people expect Asian and Asian Americans to be [ insert maniacal laugh here ].

Bus ad showing full SDAFF poster design

About Eunjoo Hong, Hyungjae Kim and Yelin YI

Eunjoo Hong and Hyungjae Kim have been working as graphic designers in Euljiro, Seoul since 2011. Both graduated from Kookmin University, Department of Visual Communication Design, and also received a master’s degree. They were known for conceiving and initiating the art magazine, Gazzazapzi in the late 2000s. They work on a wide variety of projects, but the scope of the tasks makes it difficult to specify their identities as one or two. They couldn’t decide on a specific studio name, so they are just Eunjoo Hong and Hyungjae Kim.

Yelin YI is a graphic designer and illustrator who has worked with Eunjoo Hong and Hyungjae Kim since 2021. She specializes in experimental graphics – digitizing hand drawings, and repeatedly disassembling and combining them. Yelin graduated from the University of Seoul, Visual Design, and worked as a coordinator of Typojanchi 2021: International Typography Biennale.

Black and white drawing of three faces in a row

From the Artists

“According to this year’s theme at SDAFF, we wanted to feature the villains who appear in various stories all over the world.

Usually, narratives progress with the hero as the main character — the symbolic ‘good guy’ — and the villains are there to be removed or scolded. We enjoy the villains’ chaotic and messy energy that they add to the main characters. Villains are unpolished, less sweet and shocking, but they attract the hearts of the audience at the same time.

For designing villain-shaped letters, we collected various unique and striking examples in books, animation, and television series as references. The finished design resulted in a poster that is powerful, vibrant, and playful. The letters are not polite at all, but strengthen their presence for SDAFF 2023 with energetic forms.

Let’s imagine a little village where only the villains live all together!”

Eunjoo Hong, Hyungjae Kim and Yelin YI

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