Branding for Scottish Borders Heritage
Tuesday 25 July 2017
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.
Structuring the brand
Before beginning any design work it was important to understand how all the various planned and possible future activities might fit together with the large festival in a brand structure which could accommodate their flagship festival, and allow for future growth.
After discussions with the client we agreed that a new ‘parent’ brand called ‘Scottish Borders Heritage’ would be created. All their activities (including the heritage festival) would fall under this brand with the visual identity cascading down. This would leave them plenty of room to develop a range of related activities in the future without needing to revisit the central branding.
Designing the logo
The inspiration for the logo design concept came from a comment made during the briefing session. The client pointed out that although we have a wealth of amazing heritage sites in the area, we are so familiar with them that we just don’t see them. This sparked the idea of ‘taking a closer look’ at what surrounds us, and using a detail as a base for the logo design.
This approach had the added benefit of being an accurate match with the style of the Scottish Borders, rather than defaulting to something which might be considered to be more generically ‘Scottish’.
The shape needed to be simple enough to work as a logo, since it would be appearing at small sizes. The chosen shape is based on tracery which was found at Melrose Abbey, but which is common to many local sites making it a good representation of the whole area, rather than just one site.
The colour palette
For the colour palette I researched heritage colours, and adapted them to work across a range of media. The palette I created has five dark shades, and five lighter shades in order to allow the colours to be used flexibly. Further colours in the same vein could be added in future.
I combined this simple graphic shape with the text in two alternate arrangements in order to make the design as flexible to use as possible. I also provided a version which featured the graphic on its own. This would be needed for social media, where the name appears alongside the icon, and so is not needed within the graphic itself.
In order to allow the client to achieve consistency between the logo and their online and printed materials I specified two typefaces from Google Fonts – Rambla (which is used in the logo) and PT Serif which, with its relatively large x-height and narrow body, is well suited to presenting large amounts of running copy.
The choice of PT Serif would be important because of the large amount of text it would be necessary to present in the promotional materials for the festival. But at this stage it was important to specify two typefaces which were readily accessible, and which worked well together.
Read about the second part of this design project in my blog post, Marketing materials for Scottish Borders Heritage Festival.
To chat about how I could help you with your branding, please send me a message.