About the Derby Ram Trail
The Derby Ram Trail will be a public art trail through the centre of Derby in the spring / summer of 2021. This exciting event will see 5ft tall ram sculptures pop-up in various locations around the city of Derby, with the rams being sponsored by local companies and individually painted by commissioned artists.
The event, which was developed by Derby Museums in partnership with Wild in Art, aims to boost city visitor numbers, raise the profile of Derby on a national scale, secure the future of Derby Museums and stimulate engagement in an inclusive art event.
Early on in 2019 we were approached by Derby Museums to help them create a ‘baa-rilliant’ brand, as well as a sponsorship park, artists pack, souvenir brochure, trail map and website.
Our brief was simple: to create an exciting brand for the trail that would balance art, fun and inclusivity, and appeal to both kids and adults.
The brainstorming stage
As with most projects of this nature, we initiated the branding process by performing a competitor analysis. Many other cities have held similar events before us – Nottingham had the Robins, Manchester had the Bees, and Ashford had the Snowdogs.
We used these designs to identify what we did and didn’t like about previous projects, understand how these projects got both kids and adults involved, and help us generate a new brand for the Derby Ram Trail.
We began the branding and naming process with a fairly strong idea about what we wanted to include. Whilst we briefly mentioned other names (such as the cheesy ‘The Rams ramble’!) we stuck with the instantly recognisable and informative ‘Derby Ram Trail’. Knowing that the history of the iconic Derby Ram would help promote the event, we were also clear that the logo design should be based on a ram illustration.
To help us determine how the ram would be portrayed, we were sent photos of the cast. The sculptures would be designed by Michael Pegler – a sculptor who produced the Derby Ram statue located outside Derby’s Intu centre.
The brand had to be iconic, memorable and representative of the city of Derby, so we used these sculpture designs as inspiration and produced concepts for the logo.
To meet the creative brief, the brand fonts, colours and style needed to be bold, bright and eye-catching. We chose blue, green and yellow shades – taking inspiration from the flag of Derbyshire – and created some initial designs for the logo.
After a discussion with Derby Museums we selected the very first design that we created. However, we also liked the dotted line and signpost concepts featured in other designs so added these as additional features to the brand.
To proceed with our design of choice, we added a few tweaks, created some colour variations and commenced with the production of brand guidelines. These guidelines outlined how the logos should be used, the font of choice and how the designs should be applied across a range of print collateral.
Our designs were first unveiled at an initial sponsor event in March 2019 and were subsequently launched to the Derbyshire business community.
Since the project launch, a series of ram sponsors have been announced including Rolls-Royce, University of Derby and the Intu. An Art Selection Event was conducted by Derby Museums early in Jan 2020 and now each ram sponsor has selected a ram sculpture artist!
Designing and launching a website was the next item on the list.
The website and app
Reflecting, including and developing the branding, the website needed to be vibrant, fun, informative and created with both kids and adults in mind. So with the brand guidelines to hand, the final design incorporated ‘dotted trail’ and signpost illustrations alongside a bright and bold look and feel.
Due to the nature of the event, future iterations of the website will also include maps with interactive trail information as well as details about each ram, sponsor and artist.
Our brand style combined with their digital expertise will result in a creative app complete with interactive 3D models, maps and Derby Museums trivia! This is the next stage of the project and should be released ready for the Ram Trail launch in 2021.