As the elephants prepare to stomp their way out of Southend, we look back on a fun and poignant project that captured the imagination of the whole team.
When Havens Hospices approached us with the opportunity to create the brand for the Herd In The City sculpture trail and to be the Creative Partner for the event, we jumped at the chance. Working on such a fun project, with the chance to support such a great cause, and all in our home town of Southend, how could we refuse? The result has been one of our favourite projects and one that, like an elephant, we’ll never forget.
The core brand
We were tasked with creating a brand that would engage the general public as well as the business community, developing a bright and vibrant identity that everyone could get behind and participate in. Our initial impression was that this was more than just an event; it was a chance to create a community, brought together by the joy of art and the cause of supporting the vital work of Havens. Elephants are a fantastic animal to work with as they have so much character and strong associations, so we set about developing ideas around how we could depict them in an engaging and fun way, whilst also considering the varying media that would be used to promote the trail.
We were inspired by the bold block colours of Pixar and liked the idea of using an angular style to put a different spin on the elephant, as well as give us a style that we could theme through the rest of the brand and the project deliverables. It needed to be distinct but recognisable, capturing that sense of family fun but also giving us a character that could be adapted to address a range of subject matter. The brand had to communicate all of the fun and excitement of the trail, whilst also raising awareness of the end of life care that Havens provide, the reason underpinning the whole event.
With the brand look and feel starting to emerge, we developed messaging, typographical styles, colour palettes and graphical devices that could support the event and bring the designs to life. Then came the core logo, which we wanted to be versatile and scalable, knowing that it would be appearing on a wide range of media types and channels. The aim was to create a brand that would also lend itself to merchandising and give Havens the opportunity to boost fundraising through product creation.
Creating brand autonomy
Throughout the project we worked closely with the fantastic team at Havens Hospices to collaborate on ideas, learn about their work in the community and create consistency in the use of the brand. We developed a range of assets that the Havens team could pick up and run with, developing social media campaigns and collateral for other events designed to raise awareness of the trail and galvanise participation. Comprehensive brand guidelines were designed, promoting best practice for the application of the brand, which were circulated to all sponsors, partners and suppliers supporting the trail. This enabled them to leverage their own communities and increase the reach of the Herd In The City event.
The team has always been available as a sounding board, to offer advice and solutions. They also presented to other Partners and Sponsors, offering marketing support so they, too, could maximise the trail's brand opportunities.” — Amy Dearing, Director of Marketing & Engagement, Havens Hospices
A large-scale event of this nature was always going to need a versatile and scalable brand that could be equally at home on a the side of a bus or on a tote bag. And all good events need an effective central source of information for visitors, and so the website had to be an engaging online presence that kept people up to speed with the trail and when it was coming, what was happening while it was on, and the legacy of it once it finished. Key objectives for the deliverables were to raise awareness of the trail among the public, attract participation and sponsorship from the business community and educate everyone on why Havens needed fundraising support.
We always strive to forge effective partnerships with our clients and the Herd In The City project has been a truly collaborative effort between the 6rs and Havens teams. Creating a culture of shared success always produces the best results and we’ve been delighted to play a part in supporting a great charity, as well as working on such a fun project. The team have volunteered on a couple of occasions to help transport the elephants and we’ve really felt like a part of the wider trail team. So much so, that we have contributed not one but two sculpture designs. Our Creative Director, Pete, created the fantastic design for ‘Keith’, a sculpture in honour of his late dad, who was a big supporter of 6rs and a lovely man. Pete did us all proud with an amazing design that we simply had to sponsor. And then we were given the honour of creating a design for a legacy elephant sculpture that Havens will retain and use for future events. It was designed to address the ‘elephant in the room’ and raise awareness of creating a positive legacy.
So as we bid farewell to the elephants (quite literally in an auction) we reflect on what’s been one of our favourite projects. It’s been great to create such a fun and engaging brand that’s brought a lot of happiness to the people visiting the trail. Getting the opportunity to develop such a wide-reaching brand identity and set of deliverables was an excellent challenge for the team and we’re delighted with how well it has been received. We’d like to thank Havens Hospices for putting their trust in us and giving us the opportunity to support them on a quite simply epic project. It really has been a ton of fun!
If you’re looking for help creating a brand or fundraising, get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.