The West End is an area in Plymouth City Centre that features many artisan, local, and creative makers. It is at the opposite end to the large shopping mall, Drake Circus. We were approached by Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Plymouth City Centre Company, who wanted to bring the West End to life and give it its own identity.
From creating the brand identity, designing and building the website, through to creating social media graphics and street signage we brought the area to life, giving it a sense of community and heritage.
Building on the local history
Throughout the process we engaged a large number of people within Plymouth and the West End community. From local shop owners to stakeholders, everyone’s opinion had to be taken onboard. A steering group was organised to guide through the branding development process.
The heritage of the area has been carefully considered in the logo with the introduction of the coloured shapes. These are not only a nod to the original tiles that you can still see around Frankfort Gate but also to the lines the various buildings create, including that of the Plymouth Market. The identity represents the coming together of all aspects of The West End Plymouth – people, businesses, buildings, and visitors alike.
A proposition for all
Just as important as the new look and feel, it was key that the West End had a proposition defining who they are.
‘WE’ is a mechanism that will tie all communications of the West End together. It’s left open so all businesses and the local community can interact and contribute to the brand.
This messaging can be applied to posters that can highlight selected businesses in the West End, or remove solo businesses to highlight and focus more generically on the bigger sectors of retail, food, and culture.
Change for the local community
A sense of community and liveliness is represented through the use of shapes and colours. This was applied across digital platforms and printed surfaces such as posters, brochures, benches, among other street livery.
A digital space for creative makers
The new look and feel for the independent quarter needed an online digital presence to increase its awareness and to be the focal point for various strategies and marketing initiatives to come.
As well as updates on activities, news and events we also created a directory for all the independent businesses so they could benefit from the joined-up offer by including images and details of what they offer as well as links to their own websites or social pages.
Social media for a sociable community
We launched the social media campaign just before the popular West End Carnival. We created social media graphics, and launched a giveaway to create awareness of the newly launched platforms.
User-generated content was utilised to demonstrate the sense of community in the area, and getting people to show their support of the local, artisan makers was a great way to drive community engagement.
We were delighted with the work Bluestone did for us. We wanted to create a brand and identity for the independent quarter in Plymouth City Centre. This was something that had been talked about for years but kept getting stuck. It was a complicated project, with multiple stakeholders and lots of different opinions.
Bluestone went above and beyond in discussions with us and our customers to overcome the challenges and come up with a result that delighted us all. Their brand and design experience was absolutely invaluable. We now have a colourful and contemporary brand that works for us and the businesses we look after.
I’m glad we have reached a final stage and very pleased to see that Bluestone’s hard work has brought us a finished product. The difficulties involved in creating a brand that would satisfy such a varied range of business owners and council departments was a task I would not envy.