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The Maltings

Founded by local residents in 1989 to provide direct access to the best in arts and culture, The Maltings are now the primary cultural hub in North Northumberland and the Eastern Scottish Borders. The offer is a vibrant, multi-arts events programme across three distinct venues.

Over the next four years significant investment is coming to Berwick, through culture-led regeneration, with The Maltings as the flagship organisation. We helped to support this positive change with a new brand identity. The cornerstone of the project was a single, user-friendly website to unite everything that they do.

We initiated the research with a visit, spending time soaking up the atmosphere, talking with its community and getting a true sense of place. In parallel we examined the existing venues, websites, materials and content, to establish the best strategic approach.

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  • Identity
  • Web

The solution had to appeal to the broadest audiences, particularly in a financially divided town, with a fluctuating population of tourists. Our inspiration for the distinctive ‘M’ symbol was drawn from the original malthouse roof detailing. Versatile through its simplicity, it has become a recognisable symbol throughout Berwick, whilst being adaptable across digital, moving image, print and wayfinding.

Thinking about the different audiences, we actively built flexibility into the toolkit. Not only in relation to the vibrant colour palette but also by using four very different styles from the Suisse typeface family. These assets hint at the eclectic mix of what’s on offer, with the ability to dial up or down the tone dependent on the content.

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"Working with Spy is a real partnership. They built our website, supported the organisation to meet our ambitions for the rebrand and continually work with us to improve the connection with our audiences."
Sally Wilson, Head of Marketing, Maltings

The website

With the website, we again placed the audience needs at the epicentre of the process. The key challenge was to unify the content from two existing websites, whilst still showcasing the breadth of their offer. We made sure that the story, messaging, and content were handled clearly to ensure that different users could find what they were looking for quickly and easily. Clear signposting was essential, whether directing users towards a panto or an artist residency.

Built in WordPress with Spektrix integration the site uses a modular system, enabling the client to play with different content blocks, creating pages that best suit the user journey. Essentially driving more visitors, spending more time, and looking at more pages. Since launch, the organisation has been more courageous and confident in its communications, with online sales increasing dramatically.

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