Single Malt creates brand for Channel 4’s biggest event of the year

Brand consultancy and design studio Single Malt conquered the south with Channel 4's London Upfront, an event that won a drum award for the B2B Experiential Brand Campaign/Event of the year.

Late last year Single Malt was tasked with the challenge of reinvigorating the identity to fit the second Upfront of the year - Nations & Regions in Manchester. Rouge Events curated and produced the event for 4Sales, whilst Single Malt worked to creatively design the event branding and collateral.

The result was a brand which not only aligned with the Channel 4 ethos, but also matched the unique character and edgy vibe of the venue – the renowned Albert Hall. Described as "a forgotten Wesleyan chapel in the centre of Manchester, restored and resurrected as an unrivalled events venue." This is where the premise and influence of the style began.

Rebecca, Single Malt's senior designer, said: “When Channel 4 approached us with their venue for the Nations and Regions Upfront, the team and I were instantly excited. We felt the music venue was a real asset to lean on when setting the style and creating the brand, a brand which not only reflected the Nations & Regions but Channel 4s whole ethos.

"I was absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to lead on the project and encourage the design team to go offline and really push their creative limits. I have an absolute passion for branding so designing such a large event, for the second time for Channel 4 was an absolute dream.”

Look and feel

Following a site visit, Single Malt was tasked with setting the style for the event. “Individually, we explored different design avenues that we thought showed off Channel 4s unique offering whilst still complimenting the venue, and then came together to collaborate on the final style.”  

Channel 4 is known for its “risky not reckless” approach to broadcasting, so it seemed only fitting to ensure the event branding echoed this. Single Malt courageously distressed Channel 4 messaging by crumpling, ripping and even running the typography under the tap, thus creating the events unique identity. This bespoke adaptation to the type was uniquely made keeping the venue in mind. The type was then digitised to bring it in line with the new 4Sales colour palette. 

Pushing the identity

The identity didn't stop there. Programme artwork in the style of gig posters were created in a bid to complement the vibe of the venue. This brought programmes such as The Great British Bake Off, Derry Girls and Shipwrecked (to name but a few) to life through an alternative music style. The challenge was to make the posters feel music lead but still being enigmatic of the programme. 

Going offline 

Single Malt discusses how they go above and beyond: “Creating the posters was great but we wanted to do more. To ensure that there was an added depth to the branding we used ripped up variations of the posters across a giant panel. The aim of this was to highlight the Channel 4 identity and its famous faces and talent, and interlinking that with the gig fly postering feel running throughout the event.”

Meg, a designer at Single Malt, discussed getting to help out with the event design: "Working on the different effects for the Upfront event was an extremely fun and rewarding process. It felt great to get off the screen and produce something physical. Producing a large-scale collage full of well-known faces from Channel 4.”

On the night

The whole Single Malt team graced the Albert Hall with their presence to see their artwork in all its glory. Invited by Rouge Events, Single Malt art directed the poster placement and then got to watch Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, among others, discuss what's next for the broadcaster and how they are still advocating and pushing diversity across their range of channels.

Rebecca, senior designer at Single Malt, said: “We were really proud to see how our branding complimented the event and how it made such an impact across the evening, it was definitely a moment that will stick with us. We can't wait for our next opportunity to work with Rouge Events and Channel 4.”