The House

  • Rebranding the Royal Opera House Student Scheme
  • YCN Commendation and Student of The Year Winner
This project initially started as a YCN competition brief. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the commendation winners and as a result I was approached by the Royal Opera House and AKA studio where I interned, putting my project into practice for their student scheme. I was also awarded Student of the Year at the YCN awards. This page shows both my initial idea and how it developed for the student scheme.
Create a campaign to get culturally engaged 20-30 year olds to visit the ballet for the first time
During my research I discovered the name of the Royal opera House can be off putting to younger audiences as the "Royal" acts as a barrier to those who already assume the ballet is just for the upper classes. The "Opera" is quite obviously misleading as well. I created a campaign in which the ballet and other elements of the Opera House "takeover" the building in order to challenge stereotypes of the events they run.
The “takeover” campaign will be launched through social media. The Royal Opera House will announce on its twitter and facebook page that it has been “vandalised” with a picture of spray paint over the classic ROH logo. This will cause a response from the online community wondering who caused the damage. 
The “takeover” will then be revealed through poster campaign using phrases about “The House” which emphasis the experience of going to the ballet. Images of the bar, ballet dancers and audiences will all be used to show an all round experience of visiting the Opera House. 
A link to is announced at the bottom to fully explain the takeover of the Royal Opera House by the other institutions which use the space.
When visiting, people will be redirected to the Opera House website with a slight twist. The cover page will have been graffitied and visitors will have to click repeatedly to remove the paint and get to the main page. Furthermore when they reach the normal page, the main logo will remain painted over to reitterate the campaign.
Staff with be given “Front of House” t-shirts which advertise the takeoverthehouse website on the back. By creating an informal attire, the audiences will feel more comfortable than if staff were overdressed.
The Royal Opera House will hold a House Warming to celebrate the takeover season and invite younger audiences to a special launch event which includes a fashion show, ballet performance and art exhibition. By demonstrating the existing elements of the opera house without the distraction of opera, audiences will be encouraged to come back and discover more. 
A similar takeover event could run in the London galleries. For example, the Tate modern could be “taken over” by ballet dancers in an exhibition which combines paintings of dance with actual live dancers to promote the Royal Ballet. Tickets for the ballet could then be bought in the gallery shop. 
STAGE TWO: ROH Student Scheme
When I was asked to adapt the project to be used for the Student Scheme I had to simplify some of the concepts to work efficiently across a wide range of print and digital. I was given access to the ROH photo archive and had great fun picking out some new images to really reflect all the sides of Opera House. 
Above is a full page advert that will appear in the Bimonthly magazine for ROH members. It was key to organise the visual language as the rest of the design would develop from this.
One of the more obscure jobs I've been asked to do on a placement- a design for a bicycle seat cover. A lot of fun was had with possible copy lines from "take a seat" to "there's only one stage in our tour". 
A half page advert for a local university paper. I helped re-write some the copy so that it spoke to a new young audience rather than existing opera audiences.
Postcard design which will be distributed across several university freshers weeks.
I created several GIFs that would work as online adverts.
Whilst waiting for approval for some of the designs I created some options for social media posts, seeing how far the visual language could be adapted. Putting a project into practice from idea generation through to final artworking was a huge learning curve and my design skills were put to the test.  Here's what some of the people I worked with had to say about how I got on... "Upon viewing Gina’s submission for the YCN Royal Opera House brief I was immediately struck by the commercial viability of her submission. Alongside its deceptively simple aesthetic sits a highly versatile mechanic with real visual cut-through. A clever pairing of refined photography with an anarchic painterly device speaks both of Opera and Ballet traditions whilst engaging a young and contemporary audience. Working with Gina on the articulation and roll-out of her campaign, across a variety of print and digital platforms, I was impressed by her professionalism and commitment throughout. Gina demonstrated a highly evolved practice, utilising an accomplished array of technical skills to achieve a faultless outcome on deadline. Our client is delighted, which is to Gina’s absolute credit. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Gina as a valuable addition to any studio, and look forward to seeing her achieve deserved success throughout here career." Matthew Dixon - Creative Director / Consultant "Gina responded to our brief creatively with a concept that really suited our needs whilst pushing boundaries. She worked incredibly quickly producing a very high standard of work and showing adaptability and attention to detail. We were confident throughout the process that any changes in direction would be met only with energy and positivity. Gina provided us with a range of assets for the campaign and we have only had positive feedback." Helena Gavrielides - Marketing Administrator

Team Credits

Gina Hopkins

  • Message
  • Graphic Designer


  • Royal Opera House

    Royal Opera House

    • Performing Arts

Project Tags

  • branding
  • graphicdesign
  • socialmediaassets
  • posters
  • editorial

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