top of page

Summer development

No, it doesn't look anything like the thinking I had before about Summer!

Based on feedback I had taken the reading-by-aeroplane-window idea and made it into more of a retro-nostalgic image by, well, nicking a bit of Ravilious and adding in a reader:

These are obviously very rough work-ups, plonking stock figures over the background to give an idea of composition. But I think there's something in the idea, it might be something I revisit in the future.

But as I mentioned we've been talking more broadly about the exact approach we take with our poster campaigns and how shops use them - and deciding that it was worth trying a slightly different tack. We traditionally produce two entirely differnt creative directions, each with two off shoots (so, for example, last summer we had lido-themed imagery for the adults and jungle-themed imagery for the children, each with a BOGOHP iteration. In this example the Adult's BOGOHP creative was particularly divergent from the Adult's Generic suite, the logic being that when it comes to the summer reading market, the value message needs to be all the more eye-catching.

But the effect of all this variety and colour means that sometimes - in the shops that use all these posters next to each other - nothing really stands out. We have a strong offer in shops and our posters aren't conveying that strength; our Buy One Get One Half Price posters look too throwaway by being alongside two other equally eye-catching suites.

So we're going to try something different: producing a single creative direction for both the Generic Adult's and Children's strands, and a single BOGOHP creative that stands apart very clearly from that direction.

The one vestige of the previous direction is that the rough BOGOHP idea I produced in the Ravilious theme (above) remains! But the train-reading imagery is out for now, to be saved as a thought for the future.

This Summer, we're going to try this using as a starting place an update of a previous poster of mine that we already know works well. As I mentioned before, I try to find visually interesting ways of presenting straight-forward ideas. So if depciting a person reading on holiday, I can at least take it away from the obvious beach setting and put the person in an arrestingly interesting pose (my boss says it looks uncomfortable, but I know I've read in this position!)

So my challenge now is to produce children's posters that remain in the style of this Adult's Creative but also have enough that make them feel child-like. It's an interesting exercise in working out what is essential and what superfluous to the existing theme.

Though the above is still rough I think I've struck the right balance through a little trial-and-error. The common colours across all the posters is a strong central yellow I;ve added in to pick up on the BOGOHP yellow, and a yellowy orange that serves as a 'shade' variant of the colour. I did wonder in the lady's 50s-esque sunhat was a key component needing to be echoed across the posters. But after some work I think what is essential is simply some kind of patterned headwear on the figures that adds in a touch of summery pattern to the images. So the little girl gets a flower-crown.

Conversations with my colleagues has produced the verdict that the headlines do not need to match, and really 'Book your Summer' is too adult a sentiment to serve for the children's posters (children's don't book things so the play on works loses meaning). But that the typeface and styling do (though the current font - Angeline Vintage - is pretty sure to go. I'm fond, but it's over-used and too hard to read for posters being used in the contexts these are.

I'm going to keep thinking about those headlines though. I think they ought to match in syntax - e.g. 'Book your Break/Story your Summer'...


bottom of page