When Durham BID needed support in developing a brand for a new hot air balloon festival taking place in the City, Balloons InDurham, that would still work sympathetically with the existing BID-brand design, they came to us.
Balloons InDurham is an annual festival organised by Durham Business Improvement District during the Spring Bank Holiday. The objective of the event is to support local businesses, by giving consumers a reason to come into Durham, enjoy time in the City and ultimately spend money with the businesses there on the highstreet.
Unlike anything that has ever happened in the North East before, Balloons InDurham sees pilots from all over the UK descend on the City to take part in early morning and late afternoon mass hot air balloon launches, give demos during the day while providing picture opportunities for visitors, and wrapping up the days’ events with a stunning Night Glow, seeing the balloons inflated and illuminated by the burners, set against the backdrop of darkness, all in time to a toe-tapping sound track.
Ahead of the launch in 2017, we were briefed to design and develop a brand identity for the event that would capture the excitement of the hot air balloon festival, clearly express the festival-vibe of the event, while geographically pinning it to being all about Durham City.
Starting with Durham BID’s existing brand guidelines, we worked with the team to tease out the key messages of the event we wanted to communicate to potential visitors, to be applied across the design, and then implemented in the visuals of the marketing communication collateral.
To complement the family-friendly, fun, festival feel of the event, we recommended the design should be a graphic style, using bright colours from Durham BID’s primary and secondary palette, applied across a hot air balloon motif and using festival bunting, set against the silhouetted outline of Durham Cathedral – an iconic landmark of the area – and the wider Durham City skyline.
A number of brand look and feel options were produced, with demonstrations of how these design ideas could be treated visually across different marketing communication collateral, including posters, fliers, webpages, social media graphics, print ads and so on.
Working collaboratively with the client, the chosen look and feel of the Balloons InDurham brand was then refined with tweaks and updates made, before being presented to the Board for final approval.
The result of this piece of branding work is a design that is bright, colourful and attractive to the target audience, while also clearly communicating through its visual style the nature and, crucially, the location of the event.
Having launched in 2017, the branding was then easily updated in 2018 following the look and feel we has already developed for the client, to include the use of kites in the design, as this was to be a new element introduced to the festival in its second-year line-up.
In both 2017 and 2018, using the Balloons InDurham branding, we have created event-specific artwork for a number of marketing communication channels, including posters, fliers, webpages, social media graphics, print ads, programme of event wraps for local newspapers, infographics and so on, while staying true and sympathetic to the core Durham BID brand.
So much so, one media partner for the event commented on the quality of our work for a wrap on one of its newspaper title’s covers, and now uses our artwork as an example of best practice when speaking with other brands about design for print media.
Picture credit: Durham BIDBack to Work