Energising a place and engaging new audiences

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Client:
Showtown

Background

Think Blackpool, and showbiz probably springs to mind in a flurry of feathers. From magnificent magicians to the spectacle of the circus, and not forgetting its status as the spiritual home of ballroom, this Lancashire seaside town has played host to the biggest stars in entertainment (and a few legends you never knew passed through). But with all this history behind it, there isn’t a single museum in sight.

Problem

Showtown would become Blackpool’s first ever museum. But while it would be a one-of-a-kind experience, it also needed to compete for the attention of the 18 million people who stroll the promenade each year with a plethora of other vibrant attractions to pick from. Museums are often thought of as lofty, silent temples to knowledge, where history is commended in hushed whispers, so how could we make Showtown stand out as something completely different?

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Insight

Blackpool is a place like no other, so it deserves a museum like no other. A place of glitz and glamour, where fun reigns and joy takes centre stage. Instead of simply documenting the area’s history, we decided to showcase the weird and wonderful ways entertainment has shaped Blackpool’s story, and the unique role Blackpool has played in the world of showbusiness.

Solution

We gave the museum all the charm, appeal and entertainment value of a top-bill seaside attraction. This included positioning Showtown not simply as a museum about Blackpool, but a national celebration of fun and entertainment as an art-form – and Blackpool’s pivotal role in shaping it.

The result is a dynamic, versatile visual language that’s packed with all the joy and whimsy of Blackpool itself. Like an all-star cast performing on stage, Showtown’s identity is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s based on a toolkit of ‘brand blocks’ – bold, simple graphic icons that tease the thrilling experiences that await inside the museum. Colliding in creative combinations, they tell stories in playful ways alongside copywriter, Nick Asbury’s upbeat tone of voice to delight and surprise.

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“We love our new Showtown brand, it’s energetic, vibrant and playful. It reflects Blackpool’s personality and what we set out to achieve. We’re thrilled to have worked with True North, they have a great knack of being relaxed and friendly, whilst incredibly professional.”
Heather Morrow, Head of Heritage at Blackpool Council
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Results

Showtown is already capturing imaginations before it has even opened. Visitors and residents will be in for a treat when the curtain does go up in 2021, with the museum revealing the town’s lasting influence on the entertainment world. Heather Morrow, Head of Heritage at Blackpool Council commented, ‘we love our new Showtown brand, it’s energetic, vibrant and playful. It reflects Blackpool’s personality and what we set out to achieve’.