Ormskirk: rebranding a north-west market town
Ormskirk is a town in north-west England. It lies on the outskirts of Liverpool and boasts a university, Edge Hill, that's one of the fastest growing in the country. Smack bang the most densely populated areas of the UK outside London, and with a population that's overwhelmingly middle class (and that includes the 25,000 students), this largely pretty town should be buzzing – but it's not. I also happened to be born there.
Like a lot of similar places around the country – and especially those in the north – Ormskirk town centre lies empty for much of the week, in this case because shoppers get one of the four-an-hour trains into nearby Liverpool or drive to Southport. The market may be the draw, but it's more Albion than Borough.Happily, a group of shop owners and business people have got together to try and do something about it. They call themselves Love Ormskirk and they're attamepting to get funding to improve the place as part of the Portas Pilot project.
Inspired by their efforts I designed these posters as a way to highlight 'Ormy's' best qualities – shopping, history, nightlife and restaurants. I also make a lot of its proximity to Liverpool, firmly attaching it to the unbeatable brand of the city.
How their bid gets on isn't clear yet, but its caught people's imagination, including my own, and that can only be a good thing.