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Bringing the city to the continent: Designing for Dundee2023

Dundee2023 is now full steam ahead and Avian are proud to be part of an awesome bid team. As part of some local press coverage our Lead Designer Barry gives an insight into being part of team Dundee2023 and the process involved in creating the identity.

We didn’t need much persuasion to get behind Dundee’s 2023 bid for European Capital of Culture and mobilise the agency’s creative (Avian) and digital (Blue2 Digital) teams to visually articulate what Dundee’s bid might look and feel like.

The initial brief was very open and it was clear that there was an ambition from the team to explore ideas. This allowed us a huge amount of creative freedom to develop concepts that really pushed boundaries. It also gave the team the freedom to create something vibrant, fresh and reflective of the enthusiasm that Dundee has to become European Capital of Culture 2023.

When undertaking a design process here at Avian we adopt a ‘Research, Review and Develop’ approach to all of our projects.

Firstly, it’s important that we research the project fully to understand its aims, goals and the competition we are up against. As we conduct our research we create moodboards and sketch ideas to provide us with a visual platform to shape our solution. From here we review this material, discussing and deciding what works (and what doesn’t) and any inspiration we can gleam. This in turn aids us in developing a creative approach that answers the original brief in the best possible way.

For Dundee 2023 we wanted the logo to be made up of many different facets, shapes and colours as possible. This would represent the wide and varied audiences and cultural events that would make up Dundee 2023. The resulting campaign looks to reflect the confidence that is evident in a resurgent and regenerated Dundee with an energetic, modern and colourful visual style.

For the development of Avian worked closely with our digital sister company Blue2 Digital.

Together with Rob Black, Lead Designer at Blue2, and the rest of the Blue2 team, we ensured that the website embraced the core campaign approach, visual style and ultimately provided a considered and informative online hub.

Our design process started with initial wireframe sketches and templates to ensure the website’s functionality, content and hierarchy of information was correct. These templates were then developed through meetings with the bid team to ensure that we arrived at a solution which is highly creative yet always information led.

It was important, as with all of our web developments, to adopt a ‘mobile first’ responsive approach. With websites now being viewed on a wide range of devices it’s essential to ensure that the website translates seamlessly from a small mobile phone screen to a larger desktop browser window.

The common goal throughout the campaign was to harness the vibrancy of the creative approach to instil an exciting energy within the site by use of bright colours, parallax movements and a wide mix of cultural imagery and videos. We wanted to create a website that would provide a vibrant hub of information, inspiration and encouragement to support the bid.

We believe that the Dundee 2023 brand inspires, connects and celebrates Dundee’s culture and relationship with Europe. It will work to bring the city together and to connect people and places both in Dundee and outwards towards Europe.

Ultimately, we as a team hope that we have created an inspiring campaign and website for the Dundee 2023 bid. We hope it is something that Dundee as a city will be proud of and that it will provide real motivation for the people of Dundee and beyond to get behind the bid.

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