Signage & Expo
MAKING PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER
Arts and culture can so easily isolate and exclude without meaning to – historically, it was only the wealthy and affluent who were able to enjoy the arts and so they became somewhat of a luxury and seen as unnecessary in everyday life.
In the present day, the accessibility of arts and culture has seen somewhat of a renaissance, once research discovered how beneficial participation in the arts was to health and wellbeing, particularly within marginalised groups and in deprived areas.
Awen, a charitable trust set up in 2015, sought to refresh the climate for the Arts and culture in Bridgend and it’s wider communities.
In order to tackle poverty, isolation and the deficiency of cultural opportunities for local people, Awen would support and develop the growth of the creative industries and in turn inspire people to develop and live better and more fulfilled lives. No mean feat in the slightest, and not something that the trust took lightly.
A new cohesive brand & communication strategy
They needed to be able to roll this out across Bridgend in partnership with other local authorities to provide a central hub and trusted resource for culture within the community; a presence that was easy to understand and contact, and ultimately normalised the inclusion of activities such as reading, song, dance, acting and arts and crafts in local people’s everyday lives.
This came down to developing a coherent and cohesive brand family and voice that could be easily adopted by the communities it represented. The key here was to cultivate a visual identity that promoted trust, inclusivity, accessibility and authority – the fear was that anything too explicitly related to the word ‘culture’ would too easily conjure ideas of high end pretentiousness that would cater to only an exclusive audience. This was about community, first and foremost.
Embarking on a series of intensive workshops, we were able to gain a real insight into the central workings of the organisation and how best to market or communicate that it’s messages. Within Awen we quickly found that project was to focus around a clear and succinct message; one of engaging the organisations audience and creating a platform where Awen was able to speak directly to its varying customer base on what should feel like a one-to-one basis. Targeting the community and listening to what they wanted meant that the project would have a successful outcome but moreover would enable the organisation to engage with its audience on a long-term basis.
Simple, bold, clear & memorable
The brand concepts initially explored, ranged from Classical and typographic to symbolic and illustrative, but it was soon discovered that anything too conceptual or contemporary would isolate audiences.
It was decided that the best way to differentiate between all of the Awen managed landmarks was through colour, and so a vibrant but slightly muted group of tones was chosen. The red of the original Awen logo was strong enough to stand out as the pinnacle of the organisational umbrella, but was refined and improved to make it more transferable and complimentary to the rest of the palette.
Colour, photography and tone of voice were key to cementing this accessible image and the aim became to remind viewers of the remarkable and undiscovered Awen managed landmarks they had likely grown up around but seldom utilised.
The logo folds over the top of any visual almost like a bookmarker; a constant and reassuring presence. The logo and it’s chosen typeface was created to allow the personality of each individual venue to shine through whilst giving weight and authority to its ownership.
“We will champion innovation and be responsive to the changing world around us.”
On a practical level, managing numerous venues and their sales offerings meant that Awen needed a sophisticated booking and ticketing system that was as easy to use as it was on the eye. The platform Ticketsolve was utilised in order to roll out a fully bespoke booking experience for both customers and Awen staff alike, integrating key features in order to allow smooth and speedy live event information to update seamlessly between both front-end and back-end platforms.
Awen have emerged as a truly vibrant Cultural Trust with a bustling program of activities and events suitable for the broadest audience. Their new brand and web presence elegantly support their aims and vision whilst non-threateningly promoting the concept of arts and culture to the public.