Purpose has created the visual assets for the Skills Show, UK's largest national skills and careers event, to set school leavers on the road to career success.
The new show builds on the phenomenal success of WorldSkills London 2011, the international event hosted by the capital that attracted over 200,000 visitors. London brand communications consultancy Purpose provided the brand strategy and experiential identity design for both events.
The challenge for Purpose has been to make the visual assets of The Skills Show enticing and engaging for 14-18 year olds yet at the same time credible for the adult stakeholders. The combined breadth of communication channels to reach these audiences has resulted in hundreds of different applications, from pre-show digital and printed marketing collateral, advertising and ticketing to on-site information graphics, signage, wayfinding, leaflets, maps and stage sets.
Responsible for overall creative direction, Purpose was charged with delivering an exciting and unforgettable branded experience for young people often disillusioned with academic learning. The aim was to create a buzz about skills-based careers and to change perceptions. The branding had to communicate a sense of scale - delivering the 'wow factor' of the show - and at the same time make the different elements accessible.
"Purpose has created an experiential identity for The Skills Show," commented Stuart Youngs, Creative Director of Purpose. "The cohesive look and feel is based on an eye-catching and cost effective family of elements with the flexibility to attract attention on the smallest 2D applications to the largest 3D elements, and to distinguish the numerous activities and opportunities at the show."
Central to the design solution is an eye-catching ribbon motif. The branding device is a visual development of multi-coloured blocks designed by Purpose as the vibrant and dynamic graphic for WorldSkills UK last year. The ribbon gives the new scheme unlimited flexibility and added functionality. Not only can it be animated, it can physically wrap around elements and can carry messaging. Vinyl pathways, signage totems, website content, printed maps, banners, section graphics and stage sets are just some of the applications that add to the cohesive impact of the brand experience.
Variants on the coloured ribbons delineate different interest areas within the three vast halls of the NEC. 'Showcase', for example, is an area where young tradespeople, schools and colleges from around the country demonstrate their skills. It is identified by sprayed ribbons superimposed with stencilled lettering. A series of colour coded and trade specific stencilled icons are an eye-catching and informative accompaniment.
'Spotlight' is another area with its own promotional identity. For this platform, for talks by professionals and young trades practitioners, the ribbons are turned into coloured lightbeams which give the initiative stand-out and draws attention with its vibrancy.
Other areas previously created for WorldSkills London 2011 and given a brand refresh here are: 'Have a Go', 'Careers Advice' and the trade-based competition areas, where young trainees vie for a place on the UK team at next years' WorldSkills contest in Leipzig.
To humanise the show, Purpose has enriched and extended application of the strapline "I am . . .". Again devised for WorldSkills London 2011, this is a campaigning slogan worn on T-shirts by participants and staff, displayed on posters with images of apprentices and trainees, and introduces different areas. It helps to make the whole visitor experience relevant and personal.