Historic England is the public body that helps care for England’s spectacular historic environment.
Their latest campaign — High Streets Heritage Action Zones — is a 5 year endeavour that will focus on 68 historic high streets across England at a cost of £95 million. The aim of the campaign is to unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery.
Through the Heritage Action Zone scheme, we’re working to unleash the power of the historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities across England.
Working with local people and partners, the campaign will help breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise — unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.
Our work began with positioning the campaign. We know that high streets bring value to places; they hold shared histories and tell stories of identity and cultural heritage in the spaces and faces found upon them, so we needed a bold idea that would grab the nation’s attention.
Instead of focusing on history, we highlighted the emotive factor — that the high streets are hubs of both the community and communication — places to chat, places to buy, places to discover, places to remember and places to say Hi!
From this positioning we created the iconic Hi! symbol, which would form the backbone of the campaign. A series of bespoke exclamation marks were developed to highlight the myriad of historic sites around the country, from market places to mosques, to mansions.
“High street + History = Hi! We created an icon that links the location to the emotion. The Hi! symbol packs a punch graphically, but really comes to the fore verbally, whether addressing an individual, location, shop or sponsor.”
The bright colour palette — from the Historic England palette — packs a punch and in conjunction with the bold graphic patterns — derived from the Historic England logo — further aid recognition.
Furthering the BrandWorld, we took historic woodcut engravings and applied them in interesting and dynamic ways to communications. The campaign will run over the next 5 years, both online and in print.
“While the campaign will predominantly run across digital channels we saw a great opportunity in the canvas of the high streets themselves. The stark nature of the campaign works with the scale of these spaces so well you can’t help but take notice.”
The campaign launches nationally November 2020.