Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amy Carmichael and the Shankill Brand

Two great moments today. Over my career I've created more than my fair share of commercial brands, to promote and sell products or sometimes to promote something as nebulous as ideas. These are tough enough challenges, but it's far harder to produce a brand for a real, living, breathing community - for that community to be involved in the process, to feel that it helps define them and present them more effectively, to feel a degree of ownership and pride in it, and to then take it to heart and to use it themselves.

So I'm absolutely over the moon to see today that the folk of the Shankill Road have taken the brand I developed with them last year and have applied it to the first big gable wall that you see as you travel up the Road out of Belfast city centre.

It used to look like this:


Now it looks like this (click to enlarge):


Then, later on this morning, the new panels to commemorate the life and work of Amy Carmichael were installed at Cambrai Street, on the wall of the former mill where she worked and evangelised among the millworker girls in the late 1880s. Amy was originally a Millisle girl and she often wrote about her love of the Ards Peninsula, and of her family's Scottish Covenanter roots. Motivated by her faith, she went on to become a world-famous activist for children's rights in India until her death in 1951. Again, the Cambrai Street community came out in their droves to support the project. The pic below gives you some idea of what the panels looked like once the crowds had dispersed, but you really need to see them for real (click to enlarge):



Branding and design doesn't have to be superficial and commercial - it can really help communities tell their story and take pride in themselves.

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2 comments:

jlh said...

Thank you for the great photos. I have bookmarked your blog, it is excellent.

Mark Thompson said...

Thanks Lanelle! What part of the world are you from?
Regards, Mark