NST Nuffield SouthamptonTheatres is a Southampton based award-winning theatre (Regional Theatre of the Year 2015). In the past few years it has been re-invigorated as a producing theatre company under the artistic direction of Sam Hodges and has a growing reputation for the quality of its work.
It was selected by Southampton City Council to lead the City’s new arts complex (SNAC) situated in Guildhall Square which has recently opened.
Feast Creative had an established relationship with Nuffield, designing show graphics as well as producing their bi-annual season brochure. In 2016, Feast were appointed to carry out the rebrand of Nuffield Theatre to NST Nuffield Southampton Theatres. The key change was that it would now operate from two distinctive venues: at Nuffield ‘on campus’ (NST Campus) – it’s sole original location on the site of the University of Southampton – and ‘in the city’ (NST City) at Studio 144, the new purpose-built arts venue in the city centre.
Feast helped create an entirely new brand for Nuffield Southampton Theatres as we expanded to open our new city centre venue. They spent time on thorough research, consultation and getting to know our company, staff and work, which has resulted in a brand, logo and website that really reflects us and our work as a producing theatre. We are delighted with the results and responses from our audiences have been entirely positive.
Laura Eastwood - Director of Development and Communications
As NST evolved to become an integrated dual-site venue so it needed a new brand to represent it.
This Case Study showcases a selection of branding, print, signage and web design utilising the new brand. The new feast-designed website can be viewed at nstheatres.co.uk.
During NSTs prior research the Board had taken the decision that Nuffield would rename as Nuffield Southampton Theatres under the acronym NST.
As part of the rebrand journey and to get under the skin of NST, Feast invited the Nuffield Team in to participate in a brainstorming brand workshop. A main aim of this workshop was to identify key descriptors that would encompass the personality and purpose of NST.
The three core descriptors that emerged were GENEROUS / CONFIDENT / VITAL and these formed the basis of our design exploration for the new brand.
Initial Logo Ideas
Feast presented NST with seven routes that their rebrand could take. Each incorporated the NST and NST144 (originally NST138) logo in its most basic mono form as well as colour options, poster and mobile application and a suggested colour palette direction in order to give the client a thorough understanding as to how their brand could be developed.
It was important to create a clean, strong logo, so devices were explored to echo the dual-site aspect of NST as well as looking into the idea of letters forming negative space. We liked the idea that the logo could work equally well in positive or negative form in relation to imagery and colour.
Feasts initial presentation received a very positive response. We were asked to develop three of the logos and to play with a couple of additional ideas, as well as develop the colour palette based on our initial suggestions. At this point the Board also made the decision that the ‘Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ tagline would form part of the logomark for the first two years of its life, after which the NST acronym could be used on its own if desired. (This is to give the public time to become familiar with the new brand as it beds in).
A selection of logo development examples utilising both the tagline and colour are shown opposite.
As the brand developed we were directed to concentrate solely on the NST master brand as the naming and numbering of city venue ‘144’ was under discussion (eventually it was decided not to have a separate name).
After additional fine tuning we presented Nuffield Southampton Theatres with their new brand logos and colour palette shown opposite, as well as brand guidelines that will continue to be developed as the brand rolls out.
They were extremely happy with the end result. We had met and exceeded all original challenges, providing them with a strong, clean brand that we could now further develop within the website and marketing print.
Together with their new website, the season brochure is NST’s primary promotional tool.
The brochure “needs to be attractive, engaging and informative to the existing audience and attract new audiences. Its main use is to promote shows and events in both the ‘Campus’ and ‘City’ venues”. (The City venue listings began in 2018 as the venue opened). It also needed to tie in with the design of the new NST website being developed by Feast as well as building on the new brand.
A selection of pages from the first three season brochures are showcased in the following pages.
Further to working on the branding for NST, Feast took on the design and development of a brand new website. It was important to NST to find a solution for users of the website to help them understand the changes that were happening, both within the existing theatre and the new venue, as well as offer opportunities to cross-sell across locations.
Feast provided complete solution that incorporated integration with their ticketing supplier, Spektrix, as well as the software to manage the website content, multiple venues, shows and other department/project needs.
Alongside a wireframe and UX design process, we offered a variety of concepts/solutions and that best represented the new brand online and this is the final result: