Creative Concept & Production


Creative Concept & Production


Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council were looking for creative design and production of over 40 hoarding boards for a development site in Darwen Town Centre. Situated on the A666, a key gateway into town and commuter route, the Belgrave Mill Site was looking tired and whilst the site was currently being sold to a new developer it would be years before the site itself changed.

The objective with the new hoarding boards was to showcase Darwen and in the process of creation engage local artists, designers and creatives. This project was about both the production of the boards and the engagement of community.

Given their location at a gateway into town the council also wanted them to welcome people to to the town with a positive image and message, showcasing Darwen’s identity and natural beauty.

Until you meet the people of Darwen,
you cannot know the place

Darwen is the kind of special place that you only really find out how amazing it is when you stay a while, when you get to know the people, when you need something and someone helps - no question, no expectation of anything in return.

I’ve worked with the people of Darwen for over 10 years and when asked to create something that celebrates and showcases the town it was clear it had to be about the people. We had an opportunity to go behind the obvious - the landmarks, the big employers and industry - and show the people that make it the truest definition of community. Everyone featured was nominated by members of the community but we could have gone on and on and on. Such is Darwen, there are so many special people there.

Businesses born out of a passion for product, service and place

In order to capture the spirit of Darwen we interviewed business leaders, market traders, residents and community group workers. A massive amount of information was gathered alongside photographs of people and place. Key words, phrases and quotes were used to communicate the identity of the town as described by the people who live and work there.

Key words, phrases and quotes were used to communicate the identity of the town as described by the people who live and work there. The stories behind the community's favourite businesses and community organisations were shared alongside resident commentary on the countryside and town.

Over 40 hoarding boards to be designed, agreed, produced and installed
on a site with difficult level changes.

The first challenge of this project was the scale of it; connecting with the right people, co-ordinating photography and interviews. There was a large amount of voluntary hours going into this project which meant working around people’s busy schedules and business commitments .

Production and installation was challenging. We were working on uneven ground, going around corners and up a sharp incline not to mention it was December and the weather was not on our side. We needed to work the design so as to create the right aesthetic when installed planning for incline changes, gaps and more. Each board had to be produced to specific measurements as well as understand the gradient changes exactly so that we could ensure the boards would line up perfectly.

In the process of this project we photographed well over 100 people and had to ensure we had permission and approval of all involved. To speed this up the majority were approved as they were taken but for larger organisations and businesses this meant liaising with them throughout the creative process to ensure everyone was happy with the final result. Proofing was critical as once they were printed there would no way to facilitate changes so spelling, grammar and content was checked and checked again by everyone involved.

Client Feedback

I was impressed with the way Katherine and her team listened and responded to our brief and worked with us to ensure that we were happy with the design concept, colour palette and consequently the final design. Katherine worked to a tight deadline which did not compromise the work, which was of an exceptional quality. We have had extremely positive feedback about the hoardings. I would not hesitate in recommending Katherine and the team at The Marketing Knot due to the quality of their work and the ease of working together. I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Gemma Johnson, Project Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

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