Click to watch a flick through of the programme on YouTube

Marketing materials for Scottish Borders Heritage Festival

Friday 28 July 2017

Click the image above to watch a flick through of the programme on YouTube

Earlier this summer I was delighted to be successful in a competitive tender for a large branding and design project for a local heritage organisation.

For the last nine years the Borders Heritage Festival has been growing in size at an impressive rate – developing from a single weekend to a whole month. Building on the success of the festival, there are plans to develop a range of other activities to support local heritage.

The first stage of the project was the branding, which you can read about in my previous blog post, Branding for Scottish Borders Heritage.

The next phase of the project was to design programmes, flyers, posters, banner stands, and graphics for social media to promote this year’s Scottish Borders Heritage Festival.

With over 200 events listed across 44 pages, the programme was the largest and most complex part of this phase of the project. It was during the process of designing the programme that the distinctive visual style for the festival was established, providing a basis for the design of all the other elements.

Beginning with consistency

I began the design process by looking at the listing information for each event, and standardizing the way in which they were structured and presented. Using consistency in this way helps readers to navigate the listings. Once they have located the entry information, for example, for one event they will know where the can expect to find the same information for any other event in the programme, and what it will look like.

The entries were all edited to show each type of information in the same order

Each listing is structured and presented consistently

Typeface choice

During the branding process I selected two typefaces – Rambla and PT Serif. The choice of PT Serif was of particular importance for the programme. Using a typeface with a large x-height and a narrow body allows large amounts of information to be presented in a smaller space without compromising on legibility. This makes PT Serif ideally suited to this sort of application.

Creating clearly defined sections

The programme is divided into four sections – highlight events, all-month events, mid-month events, and daily listings. In order to aid navigation around the document I created clearly defined sections using differences in text colour, image treatment, and by applying different treatments to the edges of the pages.

The thumb tabs aid location of particular dates when flicking through the programme.

Thumb tabs aid location of particular dates when flicking through the programme

The pages with the daily listings use a turquoise thumb tab device down the edges. This works in two ways, helping to locate particular dates when flicking through the programme, and also providing a clear visual indication of how the information is arranged.

Using colour

The programme includes a map showing the location of the festival’s forty-five highlight events. These are divided into six different types, with some venues hosting more than one type of event. In order to present this complex information as clearly as possible I colour-coded the events using a palette of six distinctive, bright colours.

Creating a distinct visual identity for the festival

Although the festival is presented under the Scottish Borders Heritage brand it has a distinct visual identity, which spreads across all the marketing materials. This is achieved through the use of the colour palette mentioned above, which is bright, eye-catching, and in keeping with a festival; but also by the use of a distinctive title illustration.

The illustration is by London-based illustrator Kaylene Alder and appears on the cover of the programme and flyer, on the posters, and on some of the banner stands. It allows a wide range of recognisable landmarks from across the Scottish Borders to be featured together in a neat unit.

Applying the style to other materials

With the programme design complete, I was then able to apply the same design elements to the flyer, posters, banner stands, and social media graphics to create a coherent set of marketing materials for the Scottish Borders Heritage Festival.

I designed a series of posters as part of the printed marketing materials for Scottish Borders Heritage Festival

The bright colours and title illustration make an eye-catching poster design.

Like some help producing a suite of marketing materials?

To chat about how I could help you with your printed marketing materials, please send me a message.

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Photograph of Sarah Cowan

Hello! I’m Sarah, an independent typographic designer, helping businesses to communicate their unique selling points through printed marketing and communications.

I’ve been sharing my knowledge about design, typography, marketing, branding and printing since 2014. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

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Sarah Cowan