How do you engage young people with topics they may find challenging, such as history, culture and heritage? We're increasingly using the term 'screenager' to describe this discerning yet equally distracted audience. But how did we appeal to those whose attention spans are short in a time when screens are becoming preferable to the printed page?
Cornwall has always been considered a land apart. In 2000, to celebrate this view and to bring the Duchy’s vibrant history to life, Cornwall Heritage Trust celebrated the millennium year with a special book, which was distributed to every young person in full-time education. The book was richly illustrated and written to engage the reader in the stories of Cornwall’s people, its heritage, landscape and potential future.
We were lucky enough to be chosen to design the original 'Cornwall For Ever! Kernow Bys Vyken!' book, and some 16 years later we’ve been fortunate again in being selected as the creators of a new website, which takes the theme of the original millennium book but with a great deal of additional content; bringing these fascinating stories to new and wider audiences, young and old, across the world.
It’s fascinating to think that when we were creating the original book, the internet was yet to reach the dizzying heights it has now achieved. At that time there were three of us at Nixon and we’d just completed our first ever website (for Heligan, happily still a client 20 years later), and now digital is a core element of our work, with four developers within our 15-strong team.
Who knows what the future of Cornwall will look like, but as a very proud Cornishman it’s good to know that we’ve played a small part in bringing its fascinating and rich history to life for the next generation – indeed, for a worldwide audience of all ages, not least the Cornish diaspora and those who call Cornwall their spiritual home.
Take a look at the new Cornwall For Ever! Kernow Bys Vyken! website; we'd really love to know what you think.