Creating The Royal Club

For the International Competition project I decided to pursue the Royal Opera House brief from YCN. There were a couple of reasons for this, with on of the main ones being that I just wanted to do something different. After initially moving towards the ISTD briefs and reading through them I realised that, although they would be fun and probably fairly challenging, I was taking the safe route. So much of my work has revolved around editorial design that I felt as if I should take on a brief that would take me out of my comfort zone and force me to work on different platforms. The Royal Opera House brief was appealing to me as I knew that it would force me to immerse myself in a world that I knew nothing about and hopefully improve my skills as a designer.

The brief itself was fairly simple. Create a campaign that would encourage cultured people from the age of 20-30 to go and watch the ballet. Now personally one of my initial steps when starting a new brief is figuring out what the problem is, and in this scenario it was clear. People from the age of 20-30 aren’t going to the ballet and the current advertisements from The Royal Opera House and other organisations aren’t working.

After doing some research into the problem, which involved scanning online articles on ballet and the culture of dance while also gathering primary research from the target audience, I came to some interesting conclusions. One of the main reasons that people don’t go to ballet is because of a clear lack of interest in dance culture. Simply put, if you don’t like or play football, it is unlikely that you are ever going to buy tickets to go watch a football match. Therefore my theory is that if you don’t dance at all or have no interest in the world of dance, you won’t be scouring the web for new ballet shows or even notice when said shows are advertised.

So from this research I decided what my project was going to focus on. Instead of getting people to go watch ballet, I was going to get them into the world of ballet and the culture of dance. And to do that I would embrace the competitive and young target audience while using a campaign that took advantage of the current trends of fitness and social media. From this, The Royal Club was born.

The Royal Club is a social fitness club that challenges and encourages young people to train like dancers, learn to dance, share their progress and watch ballet. The goal of the campaign is to strip dance down to the raw physical fitness and training aspects to draw in an audience that wouldn’t usually look at dance from that perspective.

A large part of my inspiration, especially in regards to the fitness aspect of the campaign, was This Girl Can. It is such a hard hitting and motivational campaign that uses story-telling and community to bring people in, it was helpful analysing why it did so well and how I could use its techniques in my own project. For example the social feed on the website, which would take peoples posts from different types of social media that featured their hashtag, was something that I was very interested on having on The Royal Club website as it seemed like a great way of adding a sense of community to the campaign.

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So the main bulk of the project was going to be designing the website, as the main source of information and guidance would be coming from there, and also the branding of The Royal Club.

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I wanted the design to be modern and innovative, and I believe that I have achieved the former of those two goals. The lightly coloured, gritty images along with the tall and bold type has made for a strong pairing which is great for posters and video. Although, when it came to the type of imagery a lot of the feedback I received said that just having pictures of people exercising made it seem like a fitness club instead of being to do with dance. So when I start improving on it, the first thing on my list will be to take some new pictures!

royalclub_homepage

I am proud of how the design of the website turned out, as I was lacking in web design confidence having not designed one in a long time. The navigation is very easy and obvious, with a heavy emphasis on imagery and text. And even though the website isn’t fully completed yet, I will constantly be looking for ways to evolve the design and turn it into something that hasn’t been done before.

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I am really looking forward to continuing to improve the project and turning it into a strong submission for the competition. I think that through my research I have found some great foundations and a strong idea, so now I just have to make sure that the design and promotional material is up to scratch.

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