Earlier this year, we were thrilled to find out that we’d been successful in our bid to win the contract to design both the 2018 Visitor Guide and Insider Guide for Orkney, Scotland.
We have a good track record in destination marketing having produced similar guides and literature for Visit Arran, Hadrian’s Wall and Visit Durham.
In terms of page count, this was one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on in my career. While my primary role was to design the guide, the project tested my skills in many areas including project management, time management and people management - I also had to do lots of maths!
Despite all this, I had to keep creativity at the fore while also liaising with our printer to ensure the production of accurate, print ready artwork to an immovable deadline - talk about spinning plates.
While the project was design based, it also had a digital element to it and, before any creative design could start, we had a huge task on our hands in gathering together the data from all the businesses wishing to place an advert or listing in the 2018 guide.
Alec, lead back end Developer here at r//evolution, created a bespoke data capture system which was used to contact businesses on the island from B&Bs to hotels, jewellery makers to tour operators and youth hostels to museums as well as all the major attractions on the islands. All their data was collected and used to populate over 100 individual listings.
Copy for the guide was also generated by r//evolution - this involved Gill, our MD, spending a week living in Orkney, experiencing all that the islands have to offer for herself.
With words, pictures, adverts and listings all in place, it was a pleasure to begin the design of the guide itself. An overall look and feel had already been proposed and agreed and our mantra throughout the project was ‘less is more’. We created simple, uncluttered spreads featuring strong imagery and invited readers to interact with the Visit Orkney team through their website and social media channels.
There’s some pretty spectacular scenery in Orkney and we wanted to make use of some of the stunning images that visitors and Orkney residents upload to Instagram. We put a call out to a few Instagrammers that regularly tag Orkney to ask if we could feature and credit some of their images. The response was a fast and enthusiastic yes and each Instagrammer was credited using their Instagram handle. Marrying together both print and digital moved the guide into a new and exciting phase.
When it came to printing the guides, we carefully selected a trusted printer that we’ve worked with over a number of years on other destination guides. We had blank dummies produced to ensure the guide felt right - after all, the feel of a brochure is just as important as its visual appeal.
We talked through all of the potential hazards and made sure anything likely to trip us up was addressed as early as possible - one of the advantages of years of experience is that you know many of the things that could go wrong during the print process and this can take you a long way towards avoiding them.
Due to its location, the guides had to be delivered to Orkney by ferry. With this in mind, we set aside five days for delivery. On the day the guides were due for dispatch from our print partners, I heard that bad weather was forecast for the Islands and that ferries were being disrupted. At this point I was delighted that we’d built an extra week into the timeline as, despite the stormy seas, the original delivery deadline was met and the 40,000 visitor guides were delivered to the island.
We had some great feedback from the client. Kerry Wilson, Orkney tourism guide project officer, said: “r//evolution was very easy to work with and extremely well organised, whilst also at the same time still creative and flexible, when they designed and produced our 2018 Orkney Visitor Guide. It has now been launched and all feedback has been very positive. We are looking forward to working with r//evolution on future publications.”
And so now we begin work on the Insider Guide for 2018. We’re looking forward to more visits to Orkney, more copywriting, more design, more deadlines, more artwork to prepare and of course, more happy clients!
To find out how r//evolution can help your business stand out from the crowd, give us a ring on 0191 499 8415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.