Colston hall Re-inventing classical music
for a modern audience

Colston Hall is Bristol’s largest concert hall with a UK wide reputation for presenting major names in all genres. They approached us to create a new visual identity for their classical season. One that would attract a younger audience but, crucially, would not alienate their current loyal and older audiences.

Our Role
User positioning
Strategic roadmapping
Brand architecture
Creative Direction
Art Direction
Content production
Project Approach Turning traditional thinking on its head

Our extensive research and conversations revealed that classical music marketing globally tends to use uninspiring, performer-based imagery, which ignores the storytelling and complexity within the music itself.

We felt that this thinking needed to be turned on its head.

Creative Direction A bold visual style

Mindful to give equal weighting to the audience and the music our response was to create a bold, impactful, ‘pop art’-inspired visual style that would instil nostalgia in their core audience, while encouraging exploration from a new, younger crowd.

The ongoing design suite was conceived with maximum versatility in mind – the pop art treatment could be ramped up or down depending on application and future requirements.

Art Direction Visual Versatility

To give the artworks depth and unity we riffed around the themes of the music, drip feeding items from the 20th Century into the design to reinforce the music’s relevance to the modern world, and provide a further emotional connection to those who were familiar with classical music, without alienating those who weren’t.

Colston Hall classical season artwork.
Design Covering all bases

We introduced a wide suite of collateral, from brochures to outdoor advertising, digital, UX and documentation.

Colston Hall classical season, responsive web design.
Outcome An exemplar of classical music promotion

Our classical re-brand is being hailed as an exemplar of classical music promotion with this industry and has resulted in Colston Hall enjoying a much wider demographic visiting the venue and significant increase in ticket sales.

We continue to push the boundaries with design.

Sarah Robertson - Colston Hall
We are thrilled with the concept Hide the Shark developed for our classical season. It's fresh, creative, bold and enticing. As a response to our brief it is close to perfect, resulting in our most successful ever classical season.
Classical is one of the hardest elements of our season to get right, and they made it look easy.
Sarah Robertson Communications and Special Project Director, Colston Hall
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