Finding and implementing ideas for a creative Cluj.

client info

FabHub
Cultural co-working space, Cluj

Collaborators:

SERVICES PROVIDED:

user research, visual identity, graphic design, UX

CONTEXT

The Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule), a collective space for contemporary arts in Cluj-Napoca, Romania aimed to open up to a larger community of arts and culture consumers. This initiative got the name of FabHub, and took on the form of a common space, with the aim to serve as an incubator for creative projects in the city, to enhance collaboration between arts, culture and the creative industries.

Our task was to create and position this new brand on the market.

[Challenge]

In order to develop the new brand and find appropriate activation tactics, we first took the time to identify the possible problems the Paintbrush Factory could be facing. We tackled questions such as:

  • What is the Paintbrush Factory’s role in the city?
  • How its messages are perceived by the audience?
  • Why do people attend its events, and if they don’t, why not?

We moved a step deeper, we were curious about understanding how people consumed art & culture, what they were looking for, what their needs  and expectations were and, last but not least, from where did they get their necessary information with regards to events and activities.

APPROACH

For finding validation and collecting customer insights, we conducted a mini market research. We ran it under a campaign called “#dialogcufabrica” (in dialogue with the Factory).

We wanted to maximize the moment: we made our market research our awareness campaign!

We thought that a research was a good opportunity to start building the foundation of a brand and to engage and involve people in the process in order to build up a sense of ownership, a participatory process,  so  from the launch of the brand they could feel that the it also belonged to them. We focused on common efforts and on the concept of building together. We shifted from a brand monologue and gave voice to the crowd.

This approach also allowed us to continuously test our ideas, refine our direction and incorporate real audience insights into our strategy.

We set on a long journey of engaging in conversation with several people in various ways: focus groups, questionnaires, we selected main coffee shops where we addressed questions to people through the napkin under the coffee cup, we were present at different events; we launched a pilot website that featured  an interactive game. The pilot site, instead of presenting ideas, asked the visitors to input their own ideas with regards to the brand: by answering questions the visitors could build their own building blocks and explore the answers left by others.

To boost our reach, we also created a network of influencers and communicated indirectly through them with our target audience.

SOLUTION

After the AWARENESS stage, we started working on RECOGNITION. The goal was to create a consistent and strong visual and verbal identity which would resonate with the target audience.

We defined the brand statement, core values, messages, voice and finalized our visual identity:

“FabHub is a framework for dialogue. A platform for finding, defining, organizing and implementing ideas for a creative Cluj.”

The main element of the identity is the F logo that resembles a geometric speech bubble: it carries a reference of the Paintbrush Factory’s logo, while representing an invitation for dialogue. It also conveyed brand specific messages. With this our aim was to build an indirect brand voice: opinions, thoughts through people’s shared experiences.

At this point, the FabHub pavilion was introduced: a reinvented transportable container, that started off in the Railway Park, Cluj-Napoca. It served as a satellite location for workshops such as #atelieruldeidei: a series of debates, lectures and a competition with the aim to find and implement solutions for an unutilized public space.

In the last phase of the process we worked on the FabHub PERCEPTION. FabHub became a coworking space as Fabrica de Pensule opened up its gates through the creation of a cultural co-working space that is free to use for creatives in and out of Cluj.

“FabHub is a process. Learning and unlearning through best practice examples. From each other. For each other. For a creative Cluj.”