Abbey Road Institute
Using design and technology to challenge preconceptions and grow audiences..
It could be said that classical music is sometimes misunderstood. For some audiences, it’s stuffy, elitist or impenetrable. These barriers effect many forms of art and culture of course, but classical music has more than its fair share. Our brief from the London Handel Festival – a much loved fixture of the capital’s cultural calendar since 1978 – was to tackle these misconceptions head on. With that challenge in mind, we deployed dramatic, emotive language, vibrant imagery and occasional flashes of humour to open up the LHF to new audiences, without pushing loyal attendees away. A new logo device, a bold approach to language and typography, and an occasionally irreverent approach to classical imagery combine to challenge expectations and grow audiences. Beyond the vibrant new brand identity, a key requirement within our brief was a new website for the festival. The digital solution not only enables a more seamless approach to seasonal marketing, but the ticket buying experience is now intuitive and integrated. A successful combination of innovation and tradition: we like to think that Handel – famed for a convention-defying approach to his art – would approve.
“The London Handel Festival has a rich 40 year history and a well-established place in the cultural landscape. It was important for us to work with an agency who would challenge us and surprise us without ignoring this important history and background. Baxter & Bailey successfully navigated the balance between past and future. We’re delighted with the results.”
The redesigned London Handel Festival brand identity and website launched in March 2019. The festival launch attracted coverage in the classical music press as well as the international design press, including Design Week in the UK and Communication Arts in the US.
Thanks to Samir, Melissa and the LHF board for inviting us to help shape the future of the festival and for being open to change, ready for evolution and excited for the possibilities of our collaboration.