Setting a truly flexible brand into motion

Edinburgh TV Festival (formerly The Edinburgh International Television Festival) is one of the TV industry’s most celebrated annual events. It boasts an impressive archive of past speakers including Sir David Attenborough, Jon Snow and Janet Street-Porter, as well as being a charity that actively helps newcomers enter the media industry through recognised talent schemes.

Over its 43-year history, the Festival has become known for providing invaluable networking opportunities, as well as shining a spotlight on some of the more controversial but crucial discussions about the industry itself.

The brief

Despite the event itself being well-established, the Festival’s visual identity was reinvented each year. This not only required a significant investment, but also created inconsistency between print and digital communications, as well as poor brand recognition. Nalla was invited to help streamline the brand, create highly flexible assets for the Festival’s content and digital presence and, most crucially, deliver a brand that allowed flexibility year-on-year.

The brand

The previous brand didn’t accurately reflect the nature of the Festival, both in its event and its work as a charity; it was being held back by an overall inflexible brand that lacked resilience across mediums and channels.

We worked to create an identity that celebrates the heritage of the industry and looks towards the future, one that can resonate with all of their target audiences – from those established in their careers to the newcomers who bring youth and creativity. Taking inspiration from cinematography, we created flexible grid systems based on the 16:9 screen ratio - the modern-day standard widescreen - to help provide a modular solution for limitless layouts across both print and digital. The idea of motion also features heavily in the new brand, reflecting the ambition, progression and dynamism of the media industry and the Festival itself.

The website

The existing site lacked hierarchy, suffered from information overload and was too rigid to help users navigate and absorb content. The work that ETF does outside the Festival wasn’t clearly communicated before, and much of the information on the site would become redundant after every festival cycle.

The ETF team needed to have full control over the site, especially over what content was ‘heroed’ at certain times during the year. Instead of designing specific page templates, we created a modular system which allowed them to change and edit things as they go, easily switching content in and out to ensure the site is always fresh and interesting to users. The team now has the option to hero events outside the main Festival throughout the rest of the year, stretching the system across all of ETF’s sub-brands while creating longevity.

The site modules themselves also have a range of flexible components that enables the same module to be used for different purposes across the site, requiring less training for the team to use them. This build allows them to have total control over a site that can grow and adapt in tandem with the Festival, as well as save significantly on time and budget.

ETF stands for so much more than just the Festival itself. The current brand and website didn’t allow them any flexibility or to expand upon the great work they do outside the main August event. We developed a modular approach that allows them to do just that, with a set of core modules able to contain a variety of content, changing and adapting with the needs of the festival. Overall, ETF have ended up with not only a brand that now reflects who they are and what they stand for, but also a site that can grow with them and their needs.

Alice Saunders
Lead Designer

The Festival programme

The previous Festival programmes looked inconsistent between print and digital, leading to user confusion. We restructured the programme, creating a core set of event ‘strands’ which are consistently colour-coded across all communications. This ensures user comprehension and recognition regardless of where the programme is viewed.

Streamlining the online programme also allows users to view events in the most relevant way possible. Filtering by certain categories is now more accessible on mobile, and tags allow users to access related activities easily. Event pages are populated with extra information about the featured speakers and panellists, as well as specifically chosen related events to help connect with other areas of the site.

The results

Nalla helped us to address some of the issues we were having with our brand. We didn’t feel that our identity reflected who we are. Nalla created a youthful, effective and totally flexible brand for us, which the whole team are loving. They truly worked with us as a team and involved us throughout the process, taking a lot of the stress out of the rebranding journey which can seem daunting!

It’s made my life so much easier having the new website which I can edit and change to do exactly what we need. Our expertise and influence as a major festival really shines through now, both online and in physical printed materials. It’s the most truthful representation of us that we’ve had and we look forward to seeing it change and mature further in future years!

Mindy Juss
Marketing Manager, Edinburgh TV Festival

It’s too early to accurately show how impactful Nalla’s work on the ETF brand has been. We do know that they’ve already seen an enormous increase in ticket sales compared to the same period last year, selling 90% of their Early Bird tickets in 4 days rather than 6 weeks. The comments they’ve received from industry partners such as BAFTA have also been incredibly positive.

We’ll be updating this case study fully after the Edinburgh TV Festival, from 22 – 24 August 2018.

Images of 2018 festival speakers are used with the permission of Edinburgh International Television Festival and are not owned in any way by Nalla.

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