Designing for Saffron Hall

Posted on July 16, 2020

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This week, we talk to Saffron Hall’s designer Gareth Wild, who runs Saffron Walden based design studio Apropos.

Tell us a bit about you and your background

I’m a freelance graphic designer and live in Saffron Walden with my partner and two children.

I grew up locally and went to Newport Grammar School before studying scientific illustration at Middlesex Polytechnic. Initially working as a medical artist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital London before taking an MA in information design at the Royal College of Art.

I then worked at influential designer Neville Brody’s Research Studios on high profile projects, including the Guardian Unlimited website, brand design work with Salomon sports and Macromedia software.

I moved back to Saffron Walden shortly after starting my freelance business in 2000 and have worked with a variety of clients including Channel 4, Reebok, Amazon, Faber & Faber, Vodafone and Oxford University.

Talk to us about your work with arts organisation 

I have worked with a number of arts organisations including the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia. I also collaborate with artists on residency projects including the National Trust New Art Programme, CB1 and NW Cambridge developments.

I’m currently working with sound artists Andy Holden and Mira Calix on a series of creative worksheets which are being delivered to primary school children during lockdown.

What you do in terms of design work for Saffron Hall?

My work with Saffron Hall includes the Spring/Autumn season campaigns (brochure, leaflets, adverts, posters, etc), also fundraising projects, banners, etc. Keeping Saffron Hall’s activities in the public eye is a full time job, so there’s always something to be thinking about. The marketing team at Saffron Hall like to keep things fresh and interesting, so we spend a lot of time reviewing and improving our design templates… the aim is to keep the brand moving forward, subtly evolving to keep the venue relevant to both existing and new audiences.

What are your thoughts on the Saffron Hall brand? 

Saffron Hall’s visual identity has evolved over the last 6 years, and continues to do so. The challenge with any brand is to reassure a core audience with familiar elements while being brave enough to experiment and take a few creative risks which we hope will challenge preconceptions and help us reach new supporters. As a world-class performance venue located within a state school, Saffron Hall is a unique organisation and must appeal to a diverse audience – local and beyond. We try to do this through a bold and distinct visual language that can accommodate a broad musical offering alongside dance, talks, children’s events and community projects. The message we want to convey is that Saffron Hall has something for everyone… we are friendly, accessible and welcoming.

To find out more about Gareth’s work, visit apropos-site.com

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