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Brand builders wow students with stories of Showtown

Published on 17/02/2020 by DTHACK

B&FC alumni Ady Bibby and Victoria Pinnington returned to Blackpool School of Arts to inspire students with their experiences building a brand for the town's upcoming museum of entertainment.

True North managing director Ady Bibby and senior designer Victoria Pinnington delivered a fascinating talk about Showtown - and the work that went into creating its identity.

Showtown will debut at Blackpool's Sands Venue - currently under construction and set to be the town's first five-star hotel.

Ady explained how the True North team used its four-stage identity development process - Insight, Ideas, Identity, Implement - to wow the museum team and trust's chairman, Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen.

Blackpool School of Arts graduates Ady and Victoria and the True North team carried out dozens of interviews and focus groups to make sure the Showtown brand and experience would resonate not only with visitors but the town's people.

Ady explained: "There's a real passion for this project. It started out as an idea for the people of Blackpool, so everyone's got a stake in it. It’s a really exciting opportunity for the town, we’ve spoken to many people to find out what role the museum needs to fulfil.

"There are lots of ex-entertainers still living in the area and they've got an opinion of Blackpool's role in the entertainment industry.

"Local residents have been a really important part of this journey. Everyone has their own story to tell, it's vital that the people of Blackpool are on board with this exciting attraction."

Victoria added: "You don't realise how much of a soft spot people have for Blackpool. It holds special memories for everyone."

After their presentation the pair gave students some tips and tricks on how to get their feet in the door with agencies seeking industrial placements.

Ady said: "Start off by finding agencies you want to work at. Don't just send emails to everyone.”

"Most agencies will have graduate placement schemes or something similar. It's important you do your research.

"Pick up the phone, call these agencies and speak to the receptionists to find out who you should contact about a placement. 

"If you can't be bothered finding out about the agency, it works both ways.

Ady advised on posting examples of your work. "Emails are fine, but easy to dismiss.

"When it comes to the examples of your work, make sure to explain the brief and how you solved the challenge. Send just enough to get you in the door - and you'll have plenty to talk about when you have your meeting."

"And make sure friends or family have a read over your work before it goes in the post."

Never give up hope that you'll get a placement, said Ady. "Accept that the first one you send probably won't get a response. The brutal truth is people aren't obliged to respond to you. 

"But be persistent, and keep sending in stuff or drop it in yourself. You'll get an opportunity to interview or show your portfolio. True North regularly offers interviews for placements. We generally offer one or two year-long placements every year."

It was after a placement at True North that Victoria, a Blackpool School of Arts' Graphic Design graduate, got her big break to work for the agency.

Her advice? "When it comes to the placement, just make a good impression. Give it your everything. Because even if a job doesn't become available there, the creative world is actually pretty small and friendly. When opportunities come up elsewhere, your name is likely to be mentioned."

Victoria added: "Blackpool and The Fylde College prepares you well for industry - and my transition into full-time work was quite seamless."