The Barbican - Classical music branding and campaign

We deliberately worked with real people - either friends of Firedog or the Barbican center.

The campaign ran for four weeks with 255 posters across 129 London Underground stations, and was repeated annually for a period of three years.

The calm nature of the subjects placed in a simple background enabled great flexibility in layout and positioning.

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the client

The Barbican – largest performing arts centre in Europe. Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982, it is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, the third-largest arts funder in the United Kingdom.

The Brief

Forming part of a three year campaign, we needed to express classical music in a new, exciting way that effectively conveys the emotional experience of attending a concert.

The Solution

Research suggested that The Barbican’s communications lack openness and personalisation. Firedog’s solution was the “Dreamscape”, a series of landscapes reflecting the intensely diverse imaginative and emotive reactions upon listening to classical music at The Barbican. To signify this breadth, we juxtaposed images of jarring, urban structures with softer, natural landscapes. While the images retain soft hues of brown, lilac and light blue, each reveals the use of dense materials such as concrete or steel to offset this contrast. We achieved the Dreamscape music branding through using multiple-exposure techniques to create a series of surreal images, illustrating an ethereal place that has been created in the mind of the audience. Using “real people” for the photo shoot enhanced the authenticity we were aiming for and we designed, illustrated, and post-produced everything within the Firedog studios.

The Results

255 posters have been erected in 129 London Underground stations. Firedog refreshed the campaign for a series of annual editions across three years. The Barbican has also launched a Facebook “musical journey” apps campaign and would like to extend this campaign into animation.