Shout Out Loud

Branding a national youth engagement project for English Heritage.

A recent DCMS report highlighted that 16-25 year olds are the least likely to engage in heritage, we were appointed during lockdown to help change that.

Shout out Loud is an exciting new youth voice project from English Heritage, run by young people for young people and aiming to change the way young people engage with, discover and interact with heritage. It is one of 12 Kick the Dust projects funded by Lottery Heritage Fund. Working closely with the Shout out Loud team and young people across the UK, we remotely developed and launched the brand identity and website.

Once we were appointed, it all began with getting to know the team, all remotely of course, we met with specialists from across English Heritage’s learning, digital and communications teams. Importantly we also facilitated online sessions with the young people, or young producers as they are known in the project. Based across the UK our young producers were all from different backgrounds, some volunteer at English Heritage properties, some have an interest in history and others just want to get involved. We were eager to know why they are involved and what makes this project so unique. For us to develop a brand identity that had a sense of purpose, we first needed to understand as much as we could, and they really helped us do that.

The young producers were bold in their thinking, telling us honestly that they wanted to rewrite the rules in the heritage sector, change the way heritage stories are told, amplify unheard voices and put the youth view at the heart of heritage. They told us they were tired of the way heritage was interpreted, the way stories were told and parts of history glorified. They want to challenge narratives and find stories that won’t be easy to tell. We immersed ourselves in their ideas, creating a manifesto, not just brand values but a manifesto that embodies the ethos and the goals of the young producers.

A positioning line was created with the young producers to give purpose to the project ‘Explore our past. Share your story.’ The collective ‘our’ demonstrating this is a community and a team of young people in it together, along with a call out to others to personalise the project, to tell your story.

The identity was born out of mood boarding and talking through the important attributes of the visual style, it had to feel personal, hands on and individual to reflect the idea of sharing your story. We wanted to build on the name that was already established, by highlighting Loud with an expressive brush mark that could hold imagery and colour, we created a bold and adaptable mark that can flex to communicate individual stories. Tone of voice and narrative was equally important, we picked up on insight from the workshop, we wanted to give the young producers the mechanism to rewrite and change the story. A cross out editted effect wipes out parts of words to allow for new, powerful messaging. As well as bold typography and messaging relating to society today. We wanted to create a brand that would root heritage in our lives today, not just the past and dusty old archival images…as the young producers pointed out.

Online and socially the brand comes to life to engage with young people and to get involved, it becomes a showcase for ongoing projects. We scoped, planned and defined content from scratch on the site, working closely with the English Heritage team. The site launched within 5 weeks of appointment, a super-fast turn around but demonstrated the importance of true collaboration and client trust. We worked together throughout, our team, English Heritage and young people to create something we are all very proud of. You can view the site here.

In fact we were humbled to be part of this ambitious project and we have no doubt the young producers will make sure their impact is felt and voices are heard to change the heritage sector for the better.

This branding was transformational for Shout Out Loud. Altogether worked with our Young Producers to create branding that not only looks great but conveys really strong messaging about what young people have to say about heritage. It’s bold, flexible and feels really fresh; exactly what Shout Out Loud is all about. Altogether really could not have done a better job in helping us to attract more young people to our projects and our digital content."

Dr Kirsty McCarrison, Project Manager (Shout Out Loud, English Heritage), Curatorial Department