Case Study: Barbican

Where will the music take you?

The Barbican – largest performing arts centre in Europe. Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982, it is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, the third-largest arts funder in the United Kingdom.

Realism : We deliberately worked with real people - either friends of Firedog or the Barbican center
Colour : We used a limited palette of neutrals combined with acidic primaries in order to create a series of memorable imagery

Firedog has worked together with the Barbican to produce a series of above the line campaigns designed to communicate the Barbican’s classical music offering.

We were required to express classical music in a new, exciting way that conveys the emotional experience of attending a concert. Clearly, experiencing this genre of music in all it’s three dimensional and multi-instrumental form, is very thought provoking. Previous marketing efforts lacked punch and individuality.

Research suggested that The Barbican’s communications lack openness and personalisation. Firedog’s solution was the “Dreamscape”, a series of landscapes reflecting the intensely diverse imaginative and emotive reactions upon listening to classical music at The Barbican. To signify this breadth, we juxtaposed images of jarring, urban structures with softer, natural landscapes. While the images retain soft hues of brown, lilac and light blue, each reveals the use of dense materials such as concrete or steel to offset this contrast.

We achieved the Dreamscape through using multiple-exposure techniques to create a series of surreal images

We achieved the Dreamscape through using multiple-exposure techniques to create a series of surreal images, illustrating an ethereal place that has been created in the mind of the audience.  Using “real people” for the photo shoot enhanced the authenticity we were aiming for and we designed, illustrated, and post-produced everything within the Firedog studios.

Broad campaign : We created a suite of sixteen images to ensure depth and flexibility in the campaign
Evolution : We progressed the visual language of the campaign each year. This meant that the overall aesthetic remained the same, yet the campaign stayed fresh enough to demand renewed attention.

255 posters have been up in 129 tube stations. The Barbican has already asked us to work on another project following the success of the campaigns. The Barbican have also launched a Facebook “musical journey” apps campaign and would like to extend this campaign into animation.

Firedog has also been awarded as a finalist in the Drum Creative Out of Home Awards for 2013 for the campaign.

WORDS: firedog