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THE MAGIC OF ANTIQUITY AND THE BEAUTY OF NATURE FROM THE GULF OF BURGAS TO THE STRANDZHA MOUNTAIN

Chronology. Client: ISV
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Some companies’ business is related to the implementation of European and national public procurement projects. The terms of many of these contests mention the magic word “design”. This is just what we are good at and what we create. That project piqued our curiosity. The locations included in the project are some of the most breath-taking sites in Bulgaria. The prints had a “designer” format – cute little squares.

 

THE TASK IN A NUTSHELL:

The project's beneficiaries were 5 municipalities in South-Eastern Bulgaria. The project's objective was to prepare informational materials related to historical and ecotourism, organized in the form of particular routes: maps, descriptions, advertisement materials. Those materials were intended for tourist information centres and tour operator agencies. The mission – boost tourism in the area. Important feature: all sites within the project had to be visited, and all routes had to be tested!

 

THE CONTEST

We started working out the design: research, gathering materials, defining target groups, outlining a presentation strategy for the materials.

The beginning is always the most demanding and time-consuming phase. The hard thing about our job is that we start with an empty canvas, trying to create something that did not exist before, in order to conceive it. We were pondering the first design task: a cover, meanwhile also envisioning: roller banners, 4-5 covers more, brochure inner layout, 10 maps or so, advertising souvenirs, hats, magnets, bags, envelopes, notepads, five language versions, unspecified quantity and quality of pictures and text. All of those had to be incorporated in a monolithic design and, at the same time, be eye-catching and serve various purposes, be reproduced on different materials and executed by different contractors. These things need to be considered and implemented in the very first cover.

After a spell of hectic work, the client received everything (the illustrations are print-screen images of the projects exactly as we delivered them):

The series of pictures was monotonous and dull, but the contest required it. Nothing less, nothing more. The results were announced shortly. We won.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

The implementation deadline was impossibly tight, so without further ado, we started organising the activities and outlining the specific concept of the texts. Once the (pre-)final list of sites was compiled and the routes were determined, we started collecting materials, personal impressions and information, so the text could be written and the photos of the sites taken.

While waiting for the beneficiary municipalities to approve the texts and our final concept, we got something really important done: we got all subcontractors to discuss and agree on the technological methods of implementation – submitting materials, design, editing, proofreading and DTP. When the time for those activities actually came, our preparatory work and coordination proved critical. Particular issues that we resolved included:

  • selection and processing of photos by four photographers
  • editing, layout, proofreading of texts in five languages
  • production of a large volume of printed materials under tremendous time pressure

The contracting authorities were also involved in the work process as they had to read and approve the texts. Due to the magnitude of the project, our work schedule was flexible, to say the least. What this actually meant for us was that we would begin a task, work on it at full throttle, and by the time it was sent for review, we would have received the materials for two other tasks. The translations were taking too long, but the design was not supposed to change over time and a consistent identity for the entire project needed to be built

The project kicked off with the brochures, which quickly acquired the code names “religion”, “nature” and “region”. Each one of them had to be produced in 5 versions as per the number of languages in the project.

The issue to be resolved there: a large volume of photo and text content had to be incorporated within a small frame. The layout had to allow for identical design and structure of the pages, regardless of the language and volume of the text. The comparatively small dimensions of the illustration required as much detail as possible. The text had to look the same. An important factor in achieving that was the choice of project fonts: for the body text we used the standard Myriad Pro. The headings were written in the awesome and trendy Museo by Jos Buivenga/exljbris Font Foundry.

Bulgarian versions of “nature” and “region” were also prepared in the order in which we received them. Next we focused on the maps. The sites, routes, map legends and route descriptions, photos of the sites, and service information, all had to be placed on the foundation (a physical map of the region provided by KartGeo). We started with the map of the region together with region description – a total of 5 maps, 1 for each language. The other type of maps displayed the routes. They were a total of 10 sets, each map in 5 languages. Symbols were designed for the maps in a style consistent with the project. Each route map comprised up to seven routes and their corresponding symbols and information.

 

 

Once the Bulgarian version was approved, it was translated and the foreign-language versions were adjusted. Next came the corrections. Once again in between activities, we processed the photos and optimized them for the dimensions accordingly – an average of 80-100 photos per map/brochure, amounting to a total of 1600 photos and illustrations for the whole project.

The final task was a handbook about the region. The materials were submitted 5 minutes before midnight. 30x20 print size, trilingual.

 

The Bottom line:

“The Magic of Antiquity and the Beauty of Nature from the Gulf of Burgas to the Strandzha Mountain” was a real hit in the Netherlands.
Slavi Tomov, January 22|14:26

 

The Burgas Municipality’s project “The Magic of Antiquity and the Beauty of Nature from the Gulf of Burgas to the Strandzha Mountain” has attracted a great deal of attention during the biggest tourist exhibition in the Netherlands... All tourists received eye-catching advertising materials, maps showing marked tourist routes, gift bags and souvenirs and had a chance to learn about the tourism opportunities both in the town of Burgas and its partner municipalities within the project – Primorsko, Malko Tarnovo, Sredets and Kameno. “The Magic of Antiquity and the Beauty of Nature from the Gulf of Burgas to the Strandzha Mountain” project aims to create an integrated tourism product, covering all five municipalities and reflecting each region’s specific features, which will allow targeted and controlled development of all cultural, natural and archaeological resources in the region and attract more tourists.

In 2014, the “The Magic of Antiquity and the Beauty of Nature from the Gulf of Burgas to the Strandzha Mountain” involved the municipalities’ participation in other international exchanges, exhibitions and fairs, such as TRAVEL/UTAZAS – Budapest, Hungary 27 February – 02 March 2014; ITB – Berlin, Germany, 05 – 09 March 2014, TTR – Bucharest, Romania, 13 – 16 march 2014; as well as the Tourism Exhibitions in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo and Burgas.

Source: Burgas Municipality Press Centre 

 

There is more:

Foreign tourists are most impressed by the bike routes and thermal springs in the Burgas region... The project was implemented in partnership with the municipalities of Burgas, Primorsko, Malko Tarnovo, Sredets and Kameno over a period of 24 months. It aimed to develop the region’s potential for tourism, alternative livelihoods, to extent the tourist season and seek new market segments.

The project accomplished the development of two main tourist packages and 16 routes, presented in 10 maps and brochures revealing the glory and beauties of nature from the gulf of Burgas to the Strandzha Mountain; a film, brochures and publications in Bulgarian and foreign tourist editions. 8 workshops for tourism journalists and 3 expedition tours in the Burgas region took place within the project, as well as participation in prestigious international tourist exchanges, both in Bulgaria and abroad – Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania.

“The international exhibitions were a success, sparking the foreign tourists’ interest. Many of them were well familiar with the Burgas region, and the older ones reminisced about our Black Sea coast with a sense of nostalgia. Other points of interest were the bike routes, thermal springs and traces of Ancient Roman culture in our lands” said Deputy Mayor Yordanka Ananieva.

​​​​​​​“Most of the job is already done – we have built a stable partnership with the municipalities in this region. After the project, the next step will be to offer tour operators to incorporate the new tourism product into their programmes and thus promote it on the tourism market next season”, added Yordanka Ananieva.

 

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