Leaping off the page, with colourful characters, snappy dialogue, intense emotions and larger-than-life settings, it’s no wonder that the pop-art movement is alive and kicking, popping up in in unexpected places to shake-up the status quo and stand out from the crowd.
You may have noticed that Liverpool Convention Bureau has cast off the standard waterfront shot this season and ran with a Roy Lichtenstein inspired look that’s turning heads and attracting admirers, left, right and centre. Here, Marketing Liverpool’s senior graphic designer, Ian Slater reveals the backstory to the brands dazzlingly new look and feel.
“The concept actually came from a very organic place”, explains Ian. “Liverpool is a great host city because it’s a place with character and it’s full of passionate people, with strong emotions, who love to tell a good story.
“We all know people that can turn a trip to the shops into a full-blown saga and this ability to take the ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary is essentially what sets our city region’s events apart. People from Liverpool make things more enjoyable, so we led with pop-art inspired characters, infused with a strong sense of fun and excitement.”
Making its debut at IMEX 2018, in the form of a new campaign, Liverpool Convention Bureau’s refreshed, pop-art inspired style has gone from strength to strength, featuring prominently on exhibition displays, venue directories, leaflets, posters, pop-ups, placards and across the company’s digital platforms, helping the brand break though the noise.
“Whilst the concept of pop-art is far from new, it’s never, at least to my knowledge, been used by a convention bureau before and it’s quite a departure for a brand more associated with skyline photography, as opposed to quirky, illustrative characters and OTT architectural re-imaginings.
“What I’ve always admired about the pop-art movement is its duality and irreverent nature. It challenged the art world, raised issues around consumerism and re-examined the role of the artist in a mass-produced world, but it did it with a real sense of humour and wit and a kind of kitsch, almost comic glamour that made it accessible and engaging to all people.
“The current look and feel is a homage to that and it really seems to fit. Liverpool is a fun place, but it also has real depth and likes to challenge things. I’ve really enjoyed working on it. Its subversive nature has led to its success and it really proves the value of taking risks, from time to time.”
Jennifer Jensen heads up the Liverpool Convention team and she told us about the impact that the new look on the brands success. “The reaction we’ve had, both in person at events and on social media has been incredible. People have really responded to the visuals.
“Partners within the city region seem to think it captures something of the character of Liverpool. Event organisers and delegates outside of the city seem to be drawn to it and surprised by it. It’s quite daring for a convention bureau and very different to what other cities are doing but people seem to love it. It draws you in. A few of our partners have even asked if they can use something similar for their own brand, which is always a good sign.
“It’s really re-energised the brand and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop ideas to help us secure more events for the region. Cities compete for just about everything and one of the most important things is events. Major events generate million for our economy and promote our city region and the Liverpool brand all over the world, so Liverpool Convention Bureau plays a critical role in advancing the Liverpool City Region.
Who will host the next [insert major event name here] isn’t always cut-and-dry. First and foremost, a destination needs to firmly get on an event organisers radar and ‘dazzle them a bit. This means standing out from the crowd and making a strong impression from the outset. Marketing Liverpool’s innovative approach has made the excellent work of Liverpool Convention Bureau go ‘pop’ proving the critical importance of striking design when charged with making a vital brand resonate.