Tired of being overshadowed by the better-known neighbouring towns of Hay-on-Wye and Ludlow, Shrewsbury in Shropshire is hoping a new £25,000 brand identity and campaign will help put it more clearly on the tourism map. The 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. An advertising campaign shows off the adapted typeface pairing up words such as "graffiti" or "chain store" with photographs of Shrewsbury's take on it.
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."
Local businesses will also have their own stamps and stickers to bring the campaign to life further in their own shops. Although not implemented just yet, the branding will be applied to the visitshrewsbury.com website too.
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