Edinburgh International Festival

Reasserting its place on the world stage

Where did we start?

By 2007, in its 60th year, Edinburgh - the world’s first international festival – was not only sharing the world stage with cities as widespread as Manchester and Melbourne, but also its own home ground with a confusing plethora of other arts events – including jazz, film, books, art and the Fringe. The question for the new director, his energetic team and the city council seemed inevitable: ‘was the Edinburgh Festival’s crown slipping?’ Invited to create a new brand that would help EIF hold and strengthen its position, our research uncovered three challenges: it was the city’s original festival, but it was overshadowed by the Fringe; it had an elite, worldwide reputation, but its identity was confused; it had a young and vibrant team, but a stuffy old image.

What did we do?

We began by helping EIF articulate its ambition: to be recognised by its peers and public as the international festival; international in what it does (drawing on every culture as a source and inspiration) and international in how it does it (recognising itself and its audiences as global citizens). This ambition was to be achieved by crafting a festival that takes its audiences on an intense journey celebrating creativity. The idea that lies at the heart of the new brand is ‘transforming people + place’. By saturating the city with its vibrant personality, EIF transforms Edinburgh and creates a cultural environment in which people can be transformed.

What's the impact?

Launched in January 2009, with a distinctive new identity and comprehensive guidelines, the new brand is already re-defining EIF’s position at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival.

“The brand has given us a unifying recognition year on year and is the anchor that allows us to go in different directions. It has given us increased recognition and the new identity gives us a consistency across all our shows, but is flexible enough to allow the individual character of the show. The brand has also helped us in terms of funding, we have a professional public appearance, brand feeds into that by generating a sense of trust and respect.”

Jackie Westbrook, Marketing & Communications Director, Edinburgh International Festival

Design: Hat-trick Design