Derby LIVE

Derby LIVE is an innovative model for the delivery of the performing arts in Derby, providing a programme of in-house produced theatre as well as presenting a broad range of received work of various genres and artforms, and operates as business unit of Derby City Council. 

The Brief

After a two stage European tender process we were appointed to work with Derby LIVE on a three year contract covering a brand refresh including the production of Brand Guidelines and the redesign of the organisation’s key events materials. The challenge was producing a design style that would be appealing to Derby LIVE’s broad range of audiences and with a wide variety of genres.

Since winning this pitch process, we have gone on to work with Derby LIVE on production of a new responsive website, emarketing, external signage and internal wayfinding signage.

Brand Development

There was a need to address Derby LIVE’s current brand proposition to ensure effective communication of the organisation’s various programming offers to the broad range of target audiences.

With the various audience groups in mind, we initially worked with Derby LIVE to create a clearer, more experience-led proposition, positioning and tone of voice for future communications. We first needed to identify the specific key messages for the target audiences and define the roles of the Derby LIVE sub-brands, setting out how they work together and establishing a tone of voice to communicate the appeal of specific artforms rather than a one dimensional categorisation. This research would then inform the development of a clear brand framework and design style across their suite of marketing materials.

We created a vibrant and consistent brand style to be used across Derby LIVE’s quarterly season brochures, What’s On guides and children’s brochures, as well as a new website, external building signage and internal wayfinding signage.

What's on Guide

In creating a clearer proposition and brand framework for Derby LIVE, we developed a design style that could be executed across the rest of their marketing materials including the What’s on Guide.

We developed new sub-branded colour coded icons to enable users to identify events by genre, making the brochures more user-friendly and leading to faster conversion rates. The new layout of the brochures makes it easier to navigate to genres of interest and the style for these genres is now consistent across materials.

Responsive Website Development

Objectives of the new responsive website were to increase online sales by 5% year on year, increase the number of Derby LIVE subscribers captured via the website, increase time spent on the website and with a higher percentage of repeat visits and importantly, ensure greater efficiency and measurable time savings in managing the new site.

We initially conducted audience research and developed personas to produce a clear proposition and user journey for the website and to ensure the balance of appeal across the wide range of potential users and audience groups that Derby LIVE serves. The look and feel of the website was updated with the revised brand style, making it more dynamic and engaging, with a homepage showcasing an overview of Derby LIVE’s wide variety of current events, incorporating sub-brand genre icons throughout to make events easier to search and identify.

We developed intuitive ‘what’s on’ features and search functionality that learns from the user’s activity to produce a view that is tailored to their previous searches and preferences and cross pollination of pages to signpost users to events they may also be interested in. The new fully responsive design was built on Concrete5 CMS for maximum usability and is integrated with Derby Live’s new ticketing platform Spektrix, for an enhanced user experience, making it easier than ever for audiences to book tickets on mobile and tablet devices.

Wayfinding Signage

The building signage across these venues was tired, outdated, confusing and no longer ‘on brand’. This was both having a negative commercial impact and causing reputational damage. We were appointed by Derby LIVE to design, specify and project manage new internal wayfinding and external building signage.

Specific tasks included:

  • Working with plans to determine the size and scale of all the signage, assessing its fit with the dynamics of the various buildings
  • Developing the terminology and tone of voice to be used throughout the building
  • Identifying the locations of the signage to maximise visibility and accessibility
  • Building comprehensive signage plans of the building to identify the specific signage locations and inform the installation process
  • Specifying the colour palettes and materials
  • Ensuring consistency with the Derby LIVE brand guidelines
  • Working with Simon Foote Architects and local planners to get listed building consent for the necessary external signage

What the client says...

"Katapult have brought a breath of fresh across our marketing communications, including brand development, web design, emarketing, print and wayfinding. Their insight, buy-in and passion for the arts sector and understanding of our customers and our aims, has greatly added to the impact and effectiveness of our communications. The team are a pleasure to work with."