Positioning culture at the heart of Doncaster
Naming and branding of Cast, in Doncaster
We designed our studio; it's filled with light and music. There are multiple meeting rooms, a well stocked kitchen, and an indoor garden (with fishpond). Pop-in for tea and stay to use a spare desk for as long as you need.
We’re next to Greenwich train and DLR station. We have a door right on the concourse but it’s different to our postal address.
If you have to come by car, we have a couple of parking spaces. We have a charging point that you are welcome to use if you have an electric car. Call ahead and we'll make sure the spaces are free. Use our postcode (SE10 9QF) to guide you in.
It's exciting to chat about potential new projects. We don't have a ‘sales’ team or a form to fill in. Call us or give us a little detail via email and we'll get straight back to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're a client then you'll be best served by calling us or contacting us via Basecamp, otherwise you can use this dedicated email that reaches all of the digital email@example.com
This email hits the inboxes of the people who deal with our bookkeeping and firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes enquiries don't fall neatly under a heading, do email@example.com
Naming and branding of Cast, in Doncaster
Doncaster now has a much-lauded arts venue, exceeding expectations and receiving national and international attention. But that wasn’t the case when they first approached us.
Doncaster is the biggest town in England, it was also (according to Arts Council England’s data) one of the least arts-engaged towns in the country.
The venue was a new-build, part of a major redevelopment by Doncaster City Council. When we first visited, the building was little more than a steel frame.
Our first job was to persuade their team not to rush into choosing a name (in a desire to install a sign on the building). The names on the table at that point were: Doncaster New Performance Venue; Camelot (a firm favourite of a senior local politician); or for it to be named after a local celebrity – Jeremy Clarkson and Brian Blessed were a serious possibilities.
There was significant opposition to the new venue, from local community groups who assumed they would be excluded, and from the local press who described it as a white elephant. We knew that the project would benefit from a period of communication with local people to dispel rumours and let them know what a brilliant new resource this would be (for everyone).
We spent time visiting the town and meeting with stakeholders. And, working with the Trust’s Chief Executive and recently appoint artistic director, Kully Thiarai, we facilitated workshops to allow people to have their say.
We met with local arts organisations, potential team members, and council staff and officers. We tailored each sessions to suit the specific group, including everyone in our discovery process.
We invited people to talk to us about their perceptions of the town, their hopes and frustrations about the new building, and their vision for this new cultural hub. It was insightful for us and invaluable for Kully.
We pooled our research into a report and presentation (with mood boards) detailing a dozen potential new names, under thematic headings. We shared this with a core group of stakeholders for discussion and debate, alongside a firm recommendation for the new name and the process (and joy) behind it.
In retrospect, ‘Cast’ is the perfect, logical solution (as good naming should be) – it represents the heart or literal centre of Doncaster, it has allusions to theatricality and to the historic industry of the town; and, much to amusement of their team, it is a word whose pronunciation defines whether someone is from the South or the North.
The final visual identity is an endlessly flexible solution, with brightly coloured triangles, representing the energy of crowds, thronging to their local venue.
The double-line type has allusions to the steel girders of Doncaster heritage, and the triangles are drawn from the ends of that type.
For the simplest uses, we created a badge that can be applied to other people’s printed materials. The visual identity then expands to be as flexible as our clients need it to be. We supplied locked-down templates that can be easily filled-in to create simple communications.
And we created the tools that allow our clients to experiment and push for imaginative and surprising solutions.
Our work didn’t stop with the handover of guidelines. As the opening date approached we worked with their newly appointed marketing team to create a suite of launch materials, including a the first edition (and template) for their events listing brochure.
And of course we designed their website…
Thanks for all your brilliant work on brand Cast! We love the name and the look, and the guidelines provide the perfect, flexible tools for our team