“You’ve been contacted by a group of local shops who want to develop a campaign to encourage people to value local produce and shopping, to promote a greener agenda in terms of knowing where your food, goods and services come from, as well as a broader social agenda of encouraging people to value the interactions that only a high street can offer. Locate this project in your own area… Try and pick a range of real shops with existing identities to work with.
Develop visual material that communicates to your audience the key messages and values of the campaign. This material should provide some form of overall ‘umbrella’ visual identity but also allow existing companies or shops their own identity within it…”
I began my research in Braunton where I live – you can see it’s not overflowing with pretty architecture and there’s no central landmarks to identify it.
But what isn’t apparent from the pictures is thats its a very nice village – you can pretty much sum it up as having a cool surf-y vibe with plenty of nice cafes. Also you cannot under any circumstances call it a town. The locals are very touchy about that.
Its allegedly the biggest village in the UK
As I’ve lived here less than a year, Im not an expert on where I live, and I went to Braunton museum to have a look. The ladies in there were wonderful – really kind and helpful.
I also had a chat to a really helpful lady who works in one of the local shops. I explained that I was a student, and what the brief was… She gave me a really good run down of the demographic and how retailers perceive Braunton. She explained that the village wouldn’t survive without the tourist trade, but that added revenue makes this quite an affluent area. It attracts people here because of easy access to the sea and beautiful countryside. Although its a long journey, it attracts ‘DFLs’ (down from London). A few months ago we had a builder working for us – he said something similar, which was that people move here for the lifestyle (he did), its a very healthy outdoors-y sort of place (running, cycling, surfing etc). The shops sell nice clothes/ornaments and surf wear, and the cafes are all rather ‘up market’. To buy some items you’d need to travel 5 miles down the road to Barnstaple. This is all lovely but rather ironic for me as due to health problems I don’t get to be sporty. But still.
She let me take photos of some of their stock – we agreed that Braunton typifies these kind of beach inspired colours and stylish prints.
A map I picked up at the museum which helpfully lists all the shops and businesses in Braunton
Self explanatory – newly refurbished information centre
The other thing I have learnt about Braunton, is that Braunton Burrows is a very important place in terms of conservation – the area is known for various species of flowers, butterflies and birds. Some of them are quite rare. At Braunton, the river Caen opens into estuary, and Saunton Sands beach is a short distance from there.
I researched a bit about Braunton burrows as its a UNESCO site…
I googled each type of butterfly, bird and plant associated with the area, and saving the images.
Im not sure where this is taken from, but it must be 9 miles away(!)
And Im pretty sure one of the birds was a curlew…
Marbled white butterfly (so pretty) and a Plover
The sand dunes (marram grass) are an identifiable all over Braunton Burrows.
And some quick research online in reference to shopping locally
My notes… Thinking about what physical form the campaign would take
How to promote Braunton? Thinking about green issues…
I think the concept of shopping locally really has to do with promoting a sense of community and talking about why we love our local village/town/city. In seems a good idea to celebrate it, rather than nag people to spend money.
I needed a strap line…Something a bit less dull than ‘Shop Local’?! I ran it by my partner who grumbled he couldn’t possibly come up with something off the cuff when I’d spent hours thinking about it…. 5 minutes later he comes up with “Keep Braunton Breathing”. Perfect!
Next I was trying to decide on what to include visually – what elements best sum up Braunton. The beach huts aren’t entirely accurate as they belong just down the road in Saunton.
I felt surfing, bikes, birds, butterflies and sand dunes all depict Braunton very well, as they are all available in abundance.
I was having a bit of trouble with the bottom section – My initial thought was to show a curve from land to sea, but I was unhappy with the shape.
Meanwhile I had a look a typefaces… I wanted something quite modern, relaxed and friendly. It was helpful to print them out and select some potential ones.
I also researched all the shops that had websites, and took screen shots of their logos. Im aware I need to work in their needs and identities. I can’t see how to incorporate these logos without turning them to black and white to give some sort of unity – in fact I then discovered the Braunton bike shop does exactly this to display the assorted brands they stock on their website.
I was fussing a bit whether to variety in tone might be a problem…I adjusted curves for some very pale ones so they didn’t disappear.
It was then time to get into Illustrator and begin to put it together…
I reduced the ‘hill’ to a simple curve which I think works better…And I experimented with typography. Ideally I would like the text and image to both work alone, as well as together. This would potentially give me greater flexibility for the different needs and formats.
It occurred to me that the shop owners might want their logos featured prominently…But I hope not, as this is difficult to pull off. Ugh!
I would like to persuade them to keep them small and discrete…
Nope. Still smaller! This is mucking up the hierarchy
Black & White finished versions
I also wanted to suggest ways that this campaign could be personalised by individual shops. (Im quite proud of this bit!!) Here’s some ideas:
The shops could choose the bullet points, and this demonstrates that different shaped logos all look OK and don’t fight the layout.
Some bolder colour variations ( I find the pink/purple a step too far for my taste but I thought I should experiment!)
More muted colour…
Ultimately its highly likely certain colours might well be requested by the shop owners – to some extent it might be possible to produce a range, to reflect the different businesses involved. But this could get complicated. My inclination is to go for the sea as inspiration – hopefully it reflects that fact that Braunton tends to be quite ‘up market’?!
My Shop Local Campaign for Braunton, North Devon
An advert mocked up in the local free ad publication (EX 33)
A shop front mock up
I would like to think this design works for the following reasons:
- the design can be used in a variety of sizes and formats
- the image is simple enough to be scaleable
- it can be used in black and white or a range of colours
- the design can be adapted to the individual needs of a particular business.
Depending on the needs of the shop owners, this design could be used on stickers, carrier bags, on banners, posters and in advertising. And a flyer could be produced with further information about Braunton and green issues. There is possibly a balance to be had with this – on the one hand we’re encouraging ‘virtue signalling’ from consumers, on the other, I think its important not to nag or be too ‘worthy’ in the approach. Also, it occurs to me that although this is a ‘green initiative’ not all shops will be ‘green’ per se. They might import from a distance but still want economic support!
I think in real life this brief would be very tricky, as it could be ‘design by committee’ – the more people viewing my work at each stage, the more involved it would be. I really dread to think how long it would take to get everyone to agree! I would hope it might actually be funded by a central body such as the local council or an umbrella business group – with an actual person who can sign off on the design when they are happy with it!