The festival program, distributed throughout the city to restaurants, cafes, bookshops, and bars is the primary source of information patrons have about the film festival and the films being shown. So as the festival grew by more than 45 films in two years, the old design was bursting at the staples. We took this as an opportunity to re-envision how we educate our consumers.
For some consumers, the awards were the most important criteria, while others the stars or location the film was playing in. We made sure to choose a design that made these clearer, while also making a concerted effort in compilation to highlight the information that best signaled what our patrons were looking for.
It is no surprise that film is a visual medium and that our education should be visual heavy. Knowing that we wanted to show more images we increased the size of the programme so that we had more room to showcase an image on each page. We also made more of a concerted effort to show more star-power as this was one of the main drivers for patrons.
One of the consequences of our growth and success was that the program became large and difficult to quickly navigate to the film one was looking for. One of our solutions to this was to use visuals to make films stand apart from each other. This was done in a variety of ways, from a change in colour to a badge on page to denote the special program it was a part of. Knowing the makeup of our audience helped us to make some adjustments for experience as well. Because a lot of our patrons are older, we bumped up the size of the font to make it more readable.
As we analyzed the lifecycle of our program, we realized that during the festival patrons were using the program primarily as a schedule and as a reference for the homework they had previously done. One of the changes we made was to move the schedule from the middle of the program, where it was easier to access with staple binding, to the end of the program, where it was easier to access with the perfect binding.
We also adjusted the schedule to be easier for patrons to read. Previously the schedule was a list of of the films with their start and end times in playing order, divided by theatre. Despite our programmers making a concerted effort in the scheduling that patrons would be able to go from one film to the next in another theatre, it was not clear to the patrons at all. The solution was to colour coordinate groups of films playing in a single block so it was easier to visualize whether they could make it to the next film they wanted to see. This was a huge success and resulted in a large uptick in multi-ticket sales.