Have you spotted the teasers about something new at Rural Arts?
Whether you’ve strolled past a mysterious banner at The Courthouse, or you’ve scrolled past our grid on Instagram recently, you might have seen hints of an exciting project we’ve been working on during lockdown.
Today, we’re so excited to reveal a fresh new look for Rural Arts, and with it, a sleek, modern website.
Rural Arts: 1993 to today
Since becoming a charity in 1993, we’ve had a few different looks – including embracing the ‘dot com boom’ in the early 2000s!
These early logos served us well as we developed our work as a community arts organisation, and for the last ten years, our most recent logo has been a friendly and familiar marque to many.
We’ve achieved such a lot under these brands. In 1997, we established ON Tour, one of the first rural touring schemes in the country. In 1999 we bought Thirsk’s Garde II listed Courthouse, and undertook a decade of significant and sensitive refurbishments to open North Yorkshire’s busiest cross-discipline arts centre. And over almost thirty years, we’ve delivered hundreds of outreach projects to vulnerable and rurally isolated people all across the county’s 3,500 square miles.
We’ll treasure these brands in our archives alongside some truly great work.
Who we are and who we want to be in 2021
We – as people, as communities and as a charity – are not who we were fourteen months ago, at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented challenges we’ve faced together have encouraged us to take stock and consider who we are, and who we want to be. Rural Arts adapted and evolved, supporting thousands of new people through both physical and digital creativity that has been accessed around the world.
As we move tentatively towards the “new normal”, we wanted to take time to reflect and reassess how we represent ourselves as an organisation.
The new Rural Arts’ brand
A brand is how we distinguish ourselves from other organisations, and goes beyond just a logo, encompassing our colours, fonts and the type of language we use. It’s how we’re seen by the world, and who we are on the inside.
It was important for us to create a brand that people could enjoy, could relate to and could – over time – come to recognise as irrefutably Rural Arts. We worked with brand agency LazenbyBrown to create a personality for the charity that reflected our values – inclusivity, passion, enrichment, innovation and ambition – and shared, through its openness and fluidity – our mission to enrich lives and connect communities.
Rural Arts has brought creativity to the heart of communities for almost thirty years. As we step confidently into the next thirty, we’ll be supported by a sharp logo, distinctive colours and approachable tone.
P.S. If you’re as excited as we are about our new brand, pick up one of our newly-minted tote bags from The Courthouse’s shop as soon as we re-open. Get them while stocks last!
A new website for Rural Arts
One of the main spaces where you interact with our brand is right here on our website. It was important to us that we didn’t simply ’switch the logo’. Instead we wanted to use the opportunity to improve our digital ’shop front’, and to create a better, more accessible experience for you.
We’ve streamlined how our pages are organised so you can find everything more easily. Booking to get creative or supporting local artists via our shop has never been simpler or safer. Best of all, we’ve woven in our gorgeous new brand, so everything looks clear, fresh and beautiful – all thanks to the brilliant support of Hambleton locals Proportion Marketing.
P.S. If you had an account on our old website, due to data protection laws you’ll have to make a new one. But don’t worry – you won’t lose any credit or gift vouchers attached to your account!
The best is yet to come
The final piece of this exciting re-launch is the reopening of The Courthouse on Tuesday 18th May 2021.
We’ve loved bringing you digital creativity during lockdown, and will continue to explore what we can share virtually in future. However, there’s nothing quite like seeing you all in person, whether in local community venues across the region or at our home, The Courthouse in Thirsk.
We can’t wait to welcome you here, where you’ll see the new brand from the moment you arrive. As well as new signage, you’ll also see the results of our extensive renovations made over the last year. The shop and cafe are looking particularly gorgeous, plus we have a new accessible bathroom and state-of-the-art equipment to enjoy.
Please come and visit us when you feel ready to do so, and we look forward to welcoming you back here safely. You can learn more about how we’ve made The Courthouse COVID-19 Secure here.
We told you something new was coming. With a brand new look, a whizz of a website and The Courthouse re-opening on Tuesday 18th May 2021, we hope you agree: something new is finally here.
Take care, keep well, and we hope to see you soon.
Director and CEO