Although not blogging about the brief at the time (when first discovering the project whilst on a placement over the summer), today I came across the brand Shrewsbury brief by & Smith and We All Need Words (see source links below), which, undoubtedly, has been my favourite project of the year.
Perhaps a little bias in regards to living outside the beautiful town (when back at my family home), the conception of the brand design and use of architectural influence within their designs, I believe is truly original and inspired and works beautifully over a range of both digital design and print collateral.
A definite source of inspiration in regards to my general branding for the Design Practice III module, design developments of which can be found on my Design Practice blog, particularly in regards to conceptual development and consistency across a range.
The identity and brand campaign, created by two London agencies, & Smith and We All Need Words, was commissioned by Shropshire Council on behalf of Destination Shrewsbury, with the main aim of promoting Shrewsbury as a prime location to live, work, visit and invest in.
Graphically, the Shrewsbury branding is based on a large original black and white pattern which nods towards the many wood-beamed Tudor buildings in the town. The pattern has been applied to business cards and some of the graphic elements appear in a specially adapted version of Dalton Maag typeface Efra which acts as the official brand typeface for headlines.
The idea from the offset was to create something that local businesses could use and employ to help market themselves. So the two collaborating agencies created the line "A Shrewsbury One-Off Since…" strap line and graphic stamp device that could be used in maps, brochures and advertising. The idea is that the device can be used to show how old (or how fresh) something is - from a building that's as old as 1586 to a cake that was baked at 6.30am.
"We wanted to come up with a shorthand for Shrewsbury," explains Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words. "If Hay-on-Wye is books, what is Shrewsbury? The more time we spent there, the more we realised that Shrewsbury has lots of things to talk about. We had to come up with a way to sum that up that was memorable and could be used in lots of ways by different people."