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Old Low Light

Developing a flexible brand for a truly unique visitor destination

When a social enterprise project sharing the story of the North East’s maritime heritage evolved into an ambitious heritage centre with a cafe, gallery and museum, the community group found themselves overwhelmed and excited at the possibilities. Not only were they restoring a listed building on North Shields historic fish quay, they were working with the community, architects and interpretive designers to help bring their vision to life and who better to position, name and brand them than us.

The project had started life as a community outreach project and had quickly picked up momentum, so when we started the project the ambition and vision from the steering group was incredible. We held brand consultation sessions to meet with the community, volunteers, trustees and steering group, with so many ideas and so much energy, it was important for us to channel their vision into a powerful positioning and a bold brand, as well as establishing a name for the centre.

The building on the fish quay that would be home to the new heritage centre was an old guiding light for boats and fishermen out at sea, called Old Low Light. This shone out as a strong name for the centre, we were eager to link to the buildings history and make a virtue out of the light theme and the heritage story.

‘Inspiring experiences in a new light’ was the core brand positioning we established for the new centre, not only did we want to signal a new era for the restored building, but it was about the multi-layered experiences audiences would have. From events and activities, to learning about the maritime story or even socialising in the cafe – people’s experiences are at the heart of their vision. Not to mention Old Low Light in a new light.

To reflect the diverse experience we created a flexible logo using themed icons to replace letters within the type. Each version of the logo truly communicates the Old Low Light experience and story and in itself is a campaignable brand. Used stand alone or with imagery the brand is bold and inclusive. The logo is adapted for the cafe, shop and community events resulting in a memorable and thought provoking brand.

We worked with the team at Old Low Light to co-ordinate a regional campaign which ran online, outdoor and in local press. The click through rate on the online campaign was 3 times the average for a targeted online campaign. After the success of the project, our Strategy Director Sarah is now a board member of this inspiring visitor centre, helping to advise and steer their marketing and brand development.

The team really understood the need to create a brand which not only reflected our diverse activities and our ambition to become an important tourist attraction but importantly to reflect the community space which is now used by so many groups on the Fish Quay.

David Bavaird
Old Low Light