The Vale Branding Project
After a credentials pitch Reform Creative were delighted to win the project to brand carnival arts centre, The Vale, in Mossley.
About The Vale:
Whether you’re a professional carnival artist looking to develop your practice at the Northern Carnival Centre for Excellence, or a passionate purveyor of the arts in your spare time, The Vale is the perfect place to call home.
Based in Mossley, in the foothills of the Peak District, The Vale is a former textile mill converted to a state-of-the-art venue for all kinds of artistic, creative and carnival happenings.
In the community, The Vale is perhaps best known for their live performance venue where a whole host of different music, theatre, dance and cinema events take place.
The space is also used by resident carnival arts organisations, Global Grooves and Cabasa, to develop new carnival productions, train new and emerging carnival artists, and host masterclasses with global superstars and cultural leaders as part of our Arts Council England funded Northern Carnival Centre for Excellence.
Visual artists can also find top notch mixed-use and specialist studios alongside exhibition space at The Vale. Electronics, carpentry, and all kinds of textile work, including sewing and dyeing, are accommodated, while purpose-built storage keeps artwork and equipment including a resident puppets safe.
We feel the current Vale identity does not capture the essence of the project or the diversity of offer. It is also difficult to position due to its shape and format with other logos.
We have never been 100% convinced on the current Vale brand. This was based on a peg board.
Above: old branding
The Vale is being re-develop to create state of the arts facilities and live venue to feed Tameside with arts, culture and creativity. We are in the middle of a bit of an identity crisis and need to be consistent with our messaging to our partners and audiences. We feel that a new identity will help us to consolidate our messaging and be more representative of what we are trying to achieve.
There are three main artforms that carnival supports. Music, Dance and Visual Arts.
The vale has 5 main spaces / buildings:
- GG HQ – Storage, office and studio space for Global Grooves, resident arts organisations and arts.
- Visual Arts Studios – One whole floor dedicated to the making of carnival and visual arts. This includes a multipurpose community studio space for general making, a fabrication space for woodwork and heavier making processes, a sewing room, a digital technology room, IT facilities / apple mac suite, dye room / textiles rooms and resources, shared kitchen and chill our space.
- A space dedicated to the performing arts – dance, puppeteering, theatre and live performance space with a bar, box office, PA, cinema screen, conference and training facilities etc.
- The Annex – Green room, design sweet and artist in residency accommodation (ensuite rooms for visiting artists, groups, participants and others)
- The Yard – A multi-purpose outdoor space that is available for activity, making, rehearsals, events etc.
What we need:
New main identify to inform all marketing and signage at The Vale to reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the offer.
This could be one identity or include ‘sub brands’
A simple colour palette and typography, to be included in simple usage guideline.
Reform’s understanding of the brief:
- The logo should work in single colour
- The brand should express diversity
- The brand should reflect the nature of the organisation
- The logo should work with partner logos on advertising and other material
- The logo should work small
- The logo should express the arts but in an accessible way so not to exclude the community audience
- Carnival is at the route of The Vale but the brand shouldn’t just reflect carnival as the offer is much wider
- The brand should reflect the multi discipline nature of the organisation
- Branding should include a device to cover the areas and disciplines of the organisation
We didn’t feel it was appropriate to produce something that was a carnival cliché such as masks and puppets as The Vale’s offer is much wider than simply carnival arts, but this is at the route of the organisation.
A bespoke typeface was developed for the logo and signage which reflected the energy and warmth of the organisation. The final logo / brand is distinctive, easy to implement and colourful.
The Creative Journey
Reform presented three solutions in total. All brimming with meaning.
The Theatre Roof Concept:
The theatre roof is an important and distinctive feature of The Vale with its curved structure. This was part of the original architecture and maintained during the refurbishment.
We took this shape and rotated it on different axes to create visually exciting graphical marks. This also acted as a sub-branding solution for various areas and activities.
Above: Illustrated theatre roof shape
Above: Graphics created by rotating the shape on various axes
Above: Sub-branding displaying the different areas of the venue
Above: Sub-branding displaying the different disciplines of the venue
The Building Concept:
This was based around the floor areas and plans of the building bringing relevance to the brand. We illustrated all of the main areas and complied them into various graphical marks for use in the logo. This also worked as a solution for the sub-branding.
Above: Illustrated floor spaces
Above: Bringing the floor plans together to create the logo graphic
Above: Ideas how the text would sit with the graphic
Above: Ideas how the sub-branding could work
Community Involvement concept:
One of The Vale’s goals is to bring together the community of Mossley through the arts and creativity. There have been several community arts projects run to date. For this solution we planned on giving community arts practitioners the ‘V’ outline to produce several graphical solutions for the brand. This would have been a great way to involve the resident artists and the community to help them feel that they belong to the brand.
Once the brand was signed off we continued with the following projects:
- Colour palette
- Internal and external signage
- Launch weekend leaflet
- Facebook advertising templates
Above: External and internal signage. The external signage was printed on perspex. The internal signage was printed on beech wood.
Above: Developed colour palette