Royal William Yard Festival Branding

Research was an integral part of the project and its findings led the creative direction.

Keen to stay true to the naval and nautical history of the location, we recreated the International Code of Signals enabling it to work in one colour alone.

Graphics projected around the Royal William Yard and on the Civic Centre.

The site was designed ‘mobile first’ as the majority of visitors will be looking via promotions shared on social networks and handheld devices.

The site is visually strong, easy to use and performs well across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.

Each stage has its own sub-brand and uses a specific character of the International Code of Signals that has a relevant meaning.

These were then animated to create intrigue across social media, as well as adding movement to the website.

Imagine our delight when we were approached to brand the biggest two-day festival Plymouth has ever seen. Big names, big sponsors, a stunning location and a switched-on audience… yep, pretty delighted.

Research played a pivotal role in the branding of the festival. We explored the yard’s rich naval history, its influence on Plymouth and the kind of people who would attend the festival. We turned our meeting room into ‘Festival HQ’ to enable us to immerse ourselves in the brand.

Keen to stay true to the naval and nautical history of the location, we used the International Code of Signals. We steered clear of clichéd symbols of anchors and ship-steering wheels and adapted and modernised an entire graphic language to suit a contemporary festival, enabling it to work in one single colour. This allows it to have its own identity while being adaptable across a range of media.

The marque encompasses the initials from the title ‘R’, ‘W’, ‘Y’ and ‘F’ from our redrawn version of the International Code of Signals alphabet, is incredibly adaptable and reproduces well at all sizes and in one colour. It translates well in digital and print. It is unique, visually arresting and versatile, which will allow a different visual language to be created year after year while keeping the essence of its identity. The number ‘17’ refers to the year (2017) which will be updated each year.

The Royal William Yard is owned and managed by Urban Splash, therefore a visual link between them and the festival also needed to be included. We decided to use the red Urban Splash corporate colour as it’s bold and daring, and is already being used around the yard.

There are various methods by which the International Code of Signal flags can be used that have specific and standard meanings. Each stage area has been matched with a single flag to give insight into what to expect.

For instance, the flag used to represent the Racing Green means ‘ENGINES GOING ASTERN’, Harbour Maritime means ‘ABOUT TO SAIL’, Sun Deck SUP & BBQ means ‘MAN OVERBOARD’. These flags were then are animated to help raise intrigue across social media channels and to bring movement to the website. These have been successfully shared across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We hope to project these animations to become a graphic backdrop to the festival.

A brand manual was created for the festival to use over the coming years to ensure the application of the brand is consistent. The manual explains how to use the marque, the logotype, typography, colour, photography and its stage sub-brands. We also created a handbook for the organisers to promote the festival to potential sponsors, which has become an integral part of their sales pitch.

The website,, showcases the venue and the long list of acts, plus it makes buying a ticket simple through the use of an EventBrite plugin. The site was designed with mobile first, as most visitors will be looking via promotions shared on social networks. The site is responsive, completely content managed and scalable to cater for next year’s bigger event.

Project Included

  • Branding and guidelines
  • Web design
  • Web development
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Stage banners
  • Heras fencing and way finding
  • Poster and flyer design
  • Social media assets
Highly organised and professional outfit that delivered a detailed, top-end brand and design package for our inaugural Royal William Yard Festival.

This was supplemented with real time assistance and guidance throughout the build up and delivery of our event. I cannot recommend Studiose highly enough.

Craig Roxburgh Festival Director & Event Manager