Posted by Diggory Gordon
11 October, 2017

Now into the publication's fifth year, the annual editions of Tresco Times reflect island life with something tactile, tangible and unmistakably Tresco.
An article on Tresco restaurants in Tresco Times.

The relevance of print

Google ‘death of print’ right now and you’ll find plenty of doom-and-gloom evidence of disappearing publications. Turn it around and look at it the other way and it becomes a marketing opportunity. The right piece delivered to the right people is always going to stand out. It says 'Look at me. I’ve made something real. And here it is in your hands.' It’s got presence, weight. It’s tactile. Paper stocks, print finishes, format and binding are all considered in a medium that can only be delivered physically.

Each annual edition of Tresco Times is a celebration of all things print and a chance for Tresco to stand apart from their competitors in an increasingly digital-based marketing world. The project comes into the studio annually and is one we all can’t wait to get stuck into.

A double-page illustration in Tresco Times.
Two illustrations for Tresco Times, including helicopter and children.

Content strategy

The process for each edition starts with an editorial meeting looking at the marketing and core objectives for the year. At this stage the content themes are loose and ideas are quickly thrown around the table as we explore articles that could link back to revenue drivers – key to any hospitality business. This year we included the #MyTresco hashtag to generate more user-driven content digitally and, most importantly, feature it in print. The only downside was the jealous undertones running through the studio as we scrolled through people's holiday experiences. The sunset barbecues on Apple Tree Beach were particularly hard to look at.

A double-page spread on food in Tresco Times.
A feature article inside Tresco Times.
One of the double-page features in Tresco Times.
A collage of Instagram photographs of Tresco in Tresco Times.

Soft-touch marketing

Our approach to Tresco’s print and digital material is to focus on the affection the current audience feels towards the island, while highlighting the island’s brand purpose – natural excellence – to potential new visitors. We’re careful to balance the island's offer of luxury accommodation, world-class gardens, locally sourced food and endless activities to their core audience groups and provide a tangible return on investment for all of the design commissioned. It's not pushy or salesy – it contains content that the reader values and evocative images to match. It acts as a talking point, sitting on a coffee table, drawing a curious eye and starting conversations.

A Tresco resident and her spaniel standing by a picket fence.
A pizza and other food served at the Ruin Beach Café on Tresco Island.
A vase of flowers.
A view of a Tresco beach.
A father and daughter hug on a boat near Tresco.
An article on gin in Tresco Times.

A developing design language

As part of the Tresco brand identity, we developed a fluid approach to layout and typography allowing for creative freedom within a carefully considered grid. This same visual rationale follows through into all areas of print and online and is key to Tresco’s identity. Consistency without a set of corporate brand guidelines in sight.

A flower in bloom.
A view of the beach and other Isles of Scilly from Tresco Island.

Measuring success

The success of a project comes down to how well it hits the objectives. Yes, it has to be on brand, on brief and beautiful – but it has to bring a return on investment. There's always a spike in bookings the day Tresco Times hits the doormat, indicating that print is still very much alive.

The Red Arrows flying over Tresco Island.

Want to read more? Find out what makes a good brand magazine. Or if you're interested in a print project of your own, take a look at our print services page

Photography by James Darling.

Illustration by Harry Tennant, Serge Seidlitz and Jess Fitzpatrick.