tumbala · visual identity


Tumbala is a visual and musical research project, which proposes the creation of several instrumental sculptures. Individual pieces that relate to each other and to the realization of an urban performance. Tumbala is born from an idea of the artist Paulo Morais, who conceives the production of original instruments, made from PVC tubes of different sizes in red and black colors.

After being manually worked, these shapes offer us a set of unique sonorities, produced by the tubular vibration, when percussion, blowing or centrifuging them. Between bass and treble, depending on the diameter, the notes are obtained by the length of the tube. Alone, these bodies already present a unique timbre. However, Tumbala goes beyond sound! The idealization of these tubophonic elements was planned for a wider sound model and a more elaborated aesthetics. Combining other wind and percussion instruments, energetic choreographies and the costumes worn by the musicians, the concept for the formation of a coordinated image of a musical performance group is gathered. The result is a sound that transports us to the imaginary of a party… A fanfare that surprises those who pass by on the streets, to the rhythm of Latin Funk music.

To the Visual Identity, was always associated the original intention of movement… Disordered and in a certain way chaotic. Even in the choice of the signature “tubophonic movement”, the rhythmic spirit and strength of the group was present. It was considered the most appropriate phrase to describe the group’s vocation, appealing to the idea of progression/transformation. For the success of this identity, some preponderant factors stand out. The sensitivity and aesthetic sense demonstrated by Paulo Morais, in the direction of the project. Both in the idealization of the original concept, as in the choice of collaborators, managed to clearly delineate the aesthetic limits of the work in progress. Leaving, however, a wide margin of maneuver for the creation of all the graphic elements.

The “insinuation” that was later presented by the work of the costumes, made by Susana Pires. They are drawings that were also at the origin of the idea, the use or connection to the body identity, of a family of illustrated mascots, the Tibas. Characters made up of the juxtaposition of the alphabet used in the logo. Finally to be highlighted, the time invested. The dimension of the work awarded, which included the design of the machines, placed the scope of this Visual Identity proposal, on a more flexible time scale and therefore subject to a more critical analysis. Thus, both in the formal definition, as in the chromatic choice, for the construction of the logo and the rest of the Visual Identity, we did not try to limit ourselves to one idea and take the most obvious path. But the one that, after a careful and happy study, turns out to be the most interesting. In the end, a set of visual plasticities, which can be constantly born from a matrix. This is the result, which also becomes significant, for the Tumbala team.

design: Carlos Coutinho

client: Paulo Morais

date: 2010