CR Blog

Shrewsbury's new brand campaign

Advertising, Graphic Design

Posted by Gavin Lucas, 17 July 2012, 15:36    Permalink    Comments (33)

Tired of being overshadowed by the better-known neighbouring towns of Hay-on-Wye and Ludlow, Shrewsbury in Shropshire is hoping a new £25,000 brand identity and campaign will help put it more clearly on the tourism map...

The identity and brand campaign, created by two London agencies, & Smith and We All Need Words, was commissioned by Shropshire Council on behalf of Destination Shrewsbury, with the main aim of promoting Shrewsbury as a prime location to live, work, visit and invest in.

Graphically, the Shrewsbury branding is based on a large original black and white pattern which nods towards the many wood-beamed Tudor buildings in the town. The pattern has been applied to business cards and some of the graphic elements appear in a specially adapted version of Dalton Maag typeface Efra which acts as the official brand typeface for headlines.

An advertising campaign shows off the adapted typeface pairing up words such as "graffiti" or "chain store" with photographs of Shrewsbury's take on it.

The idea from the offset was to create something that local businesses could use and employ to help market themselves. So the two collaborating agencies created the line "A Shrewsbury One-Off Since…" strap line and graphic stamp device that could be used in maps, brochures and advertising. The idea is that the device can be used to show how old (or how fresh) something is - from a building that's as old as 1586 to a cake that was baked at 6.30am.

"We wanted to come up with a shorthand for Shrewsbury," explains Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words. "If Hay-on-Wye is books, what is Shrewsbury? The more time we spent there, the more we realised that Shrewsbury has lots of things to talk about. We had to come up with a way to sum that up that was memorable and could be used in lots of ways by different people."

Local businesses will also have their own stamps and stickers to bring the campaign to life further in their own shops:

Although not implemented just yet, the branding will be applied to the visitshrewsbury.com website too:

visitshrewsbury.com

 

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33 Comments

Lovely work for a lovely town.
simon winnall
2012-07-17 15:55:23


Beautiful branding across everything, but it does remind me of something an old lecturer said once - if you redesign a cheap pizza takeaway menu to look beautiful, does that make it an effective cheap pizza takeaway menu?

Have Shropshire Council been given what they need? I can't decide.
Mark
2012-07-17 16:17:09


Shrewsbury has a reputation as being something of a sleepy, dull town - yet it really DOES have wonderful architecture, lovely little boutique shops and fantastic restaurants - I am so glad that the tourist board have decided to make something of what Shrewsbury has to offer.

Love the new design!
Rachel
2012-07-17 17:02:08


I think for nearly the lowest populated county in United Kingdom it's an awesome work. £25.000 isn't very expensive as for a council, and the money could not be used better. At least there is something that will distinguish Shropshire for a while.

I can only hope my town (Luton) would come with a similar idea :)
Martin
2012-07-17 17:04:42


Very nice!
Victoira
2012-07-17 17:11:48


The stickers and stamps are a great idea. Could also be a great heading to celebrate some of the quirky famous people who have come from the area too.
Boz
2012-07-17 17:34:08


Lovely. Really like this.
Callum
2012-07-17 18:06:18


Lovely to see my home town put on the map :)
Rachel
2012-07-17 18:21:36


love the stamps, it adds that human touch.
simonok
2012-07-17 20:01:57


I think on the surface this does look nice, sure, but when you think about in terms of a strategy to attract people to the town I am not sure it packs enough of a punch, or really emphasises the towns qualities enough. I am not saying "better stick on a picture of a family in a tudor house having a whale of time" or anything like that, but perhaps this just feels a little bit too modest. It's like they've rebranded the whole town as a lovely boutique deli, rather than a lovely town full of interesting things to see and do.

Also the replacement of some letters with the little square patterns absolutely does my head in. Thats a hard one to pull off at the best of the times.
Rob
2012-07-18 09:42:34


I agree with Rob above says re: does it make Shrewsbury stand out from the crowd? Does Shrewsbury really stand out as a crowd in anyway? As a visitor and potential resident I have wondered what it is I like about the town and the area. There are more interesting places for sure.

The campaign seems to me to be a bit of a fudge - oh there's a little bit of everything in Shrewsbury. I doubt that will get a lot of people really excited. It does feel to me like the brief and the result had to accommodate a lot of interests and so doesnt really examine what is really special. Perhaps there isn't anything that makes the town/area stand out other than it is a really nice place.

The designer himself says:
"If Hay-on-Wye is books, what is Shrewsbury?"

From this campaign, I still don't know "what is Shrewsbury?"
Natalie
2012-07-18 10:35:45


Anything to promote Shrewsbury as a great place to live, visit, explore, is a good idea! I live in New Zealand, and as a Shropshire Lass, if ever I meet anyone over here from the UK, they've hardly ever been to Shropshire or Shrewsbury! I find it's quite sad as it has so much history, architecture, picturesque towns, the countryside - there are so many stories to tell!! As you can tell, I'm a Proud Salopian, many miles away, so to see a modern approach to capture peoples' interest is wonderful!! I wish you all the best in your promotions and hope it kick starts new tourism ventures etc that comes with such a campaign! Well done!
Alyson
2012-07-18 11:28:29


I really like the campaign. When I saw the launch there was a 'Shrewsbury, the next small thing' line that seems to have been deleted. A pity really because it does say Shrewsbury is a small place that is well worth visiting and is on its way to being a 'thing' (trendy).

Some of the comments above worry about leaving out many of the other special things Shrewsubury has to offer (the examples happen to be of food places) but each business or attraction can use it to their benefit and fit it to their needs. The launch materials shouldn't be taken as the full extent of possibilities.

All in all a good result for £25,000. Now it's up to those running Shrewsbury businesses and attractions to take up the brand and run with it.
Sheila
2012-07-18 11:30:36


Is it me or has Shrewsbury had a more thought out re-brand than the City of London?
K-S-T
2012-07-18 11:44:30


Really well thought out piece of work, although, as a designer in the area, It makes me a little sad that this was snapped up by a couple of London agencies. Can't fault their execution though, especially at a relatively reasonable price.
Robin
2012-07-18 12:21:13


A beautiful piece of design work that will make people proud to live in Shrewsbury but as said it does seem a bit too ambiguous to be used to attract tourists. I imagine that is as much to do with the brief as the execution though.
Steve
2012-07-18 14:05:55


Spot on @K-S-T! Really great job by the designers involved in this project. Totally agree with @Sheila, the businesses and attractions of Shrewsbury need to get on board with this and help the campaign to grow.
Mark Digital
2012-07-18 14:06:29


As a business owner in Shrewsbury, I like it. I have had a shop here for 11 years and have been seeing visitor numbers dropping every year. When visitors come, they love the independent shops, and what Shrewsbury has to offer. Lets make sure we can tell as many people as possible about Shrewsbury and welcome them.
Can I please have a stamp and some of the ad material please?
Heather
2012-07-18 14:29:41


It is really cool, I love the stamps and the chain store!
Singapore Web design
2012-07-18 14:56:59


Spot on @K-S-T! Really great job by the designers involved in this project. Totally agree with @Sheila, the businesses and attractions of Shrewsbury need to get on board with this and help the campaign to grow.
Mark Digital
2012-07-18 15:03:45


Shrewsbury The original one off. If its original doesn't it have to be a one off?
John
2012-07-18 16:34:23


@Sheila: 'The next small thing' is genius! Why did it come off?

It doesn't really do much to differentiate it from Hay, does it? A good-looking bit of design, no doubt, but not a compelling reason to visit. Where are the people? It looks deserted.

Also I wish they'd made something of the pronunciation: 'Shrowsbury' is the posh way, 'Shroosbury' not the posh way, I believe.
Paul
2012-07-19 13:32:05


Love it. Like the idea of making feel like a company that care. Good Work.
HappyC
2012-07-19 16:15:25


RE: all the people that say "What makes it stand out? What makes it more compelling?" What are you looking for? Something with bright primary colors and giddy kids on a playground, like any generic, poorly executed travel ad? The world is becoming increasingly design-conscious through the efforts of companies like Apple that make beauty important. This simple, beautiful solution *does* stand out, because 95% of travel ads are absolutely horrible, and because this is so damn well executed. It showcases the beauty of the town.

The only thing I'd say is missing is the people, as has been mentioned - since the populace is an integral part of the atmosphere of a town also.
Joe
2012-07-20 14:29:53


RE: all the people that say "What makes it stand out? What makes it more compelling?" What are you looking for? Something with bright primary colors and giddy kids on a playground, like any generic, poorly executed travel ad? The world is becoming increasingly design-conscious through the efforts of companies like Apple that make beauty important. This simple, beautiful solution *does* stand out, because 95% of travel ads are absolutely horrible, and because this is so damn well executed. It showcases the beauty of the town.

The only thing I'd say is missing is the people, as has been mentioned - since the populace is an integral part of the atmosphere of a town also.
Joe
2012-07-20 16:17:18


Beautiful design (apart from the silly letter substitutions) that will win awards and do absolutely nothing for Shrewsbury. And, as others have said, it should have gone to a local firm. I imagine the councillors got some lovely lunches in London out of it though.
Mark Astle
2012-07-20 17:18:15


I agree with Robin earlier, it's a shame Destination Shrewsbury, "with the main aim of promoting Shrewsbury as a prime location to live, work, visit and invest in" didn't mention it in the area a bit more. I'm a designer living in Shrewsbury and never heard of the £25000 budget available to promote the town, neither did a lot of friends and colleagues in the same boat. At least it's a good looking result, where can I get one of those stamps?
Tony
2012-07-23 14:47:36


I absolutely love this! exactly what our town need! Money well spent.
Kaablammo
2012-07-25 10:00:40


Can any of the detractors point to a better town brand and campaign in the UK?

I can't.

Anyone who's ever done any work for any department of any local authority will know it's a fucking nightmare. Kudos to & Smith for pulling something really nice out of it.
Ed
2012-07-25 11:15:25


Great Job. Looks very slick indeed.

Im a Midlands/Shropshire based designer having worked all around the country, including Shrewsbury, I am actually glad it went outside of Shrewsbury as there is too much of the same mundane work being produced this end which is sad as there are a handful of genuinely good creatives here.

Knowing your territory and audience is a good thing. Having a fresh set of eyes with different perspective and approach and making it work well is even better.
Anil Amrit
2012-07-26 11:19:26


I love this - very clever, witty creative and fresh. It must be nigh impossible to capture a town like Shrewsbury in a simple message and I for one am glad that we aren't known for just one thing like Hay on Wye. We have something for everyone. Well done guys!
Juliabee
2012-07-31 21:56:29


I feel lucky to have chanced upon the Creative Review. What I liked about this article is that it featured quite an interesting brand campaign that focused largely on natural colours. I liked that it used real world locales and items to create the backdrop to the designs, and those vivid colours really stand out.
Jeanette Hayworth
2012-09-07 04:06:31


The Visit Shrewsbury website shows nothing of the "one off" message and looks nothing like the screenshot above. What happened to it?
Stuart Lambert
2012-09-30 18:11:08


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