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OPW – Emocourt

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Client: OPW – Emocourt

Sector: Public

History, heritage and classical elegance.

Emo Court House is a quintessential, neo-classical stately home, located in the midst of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois. It was designed in 1790 by noted architect James Gandon for John Dawson, then first Earl of Portarlington. In 1994, Major Cholmley-Harrison donated the house and estate to the Irish people.

EMO Court attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland which were first laid out in the 18th century and contain formal lawns, lake and woodland walks with many fine trees and shrubs.

Developing a contemporary brand identity to reflect historical origins.

EMO Court is a touristic attraction well known for the architecture and beautiful gardens. Our task was to promote EMO Court to other non-domestic markets. The Gardens, Trails and Events elements are a huge part of EMO Court experience and CDG looked to build a strong heritage brand using visual imagery that best represented the appeal of EMO Court. We wanted to promote EMO Court as a destination where people could spend the day with family and friends exploring and experiencing the unique history, famous architecture and amenities.

Understanding tradition and creating a universal appeal.

CDG began researching the House & Garden and the history behind the estate and the surrounding area. We identified that the majority of people who visit EMO were Irish families, so the decision was made to make the brand more visible to an international audience. Strategically, this would ensure an increase in both visitor numbers to EMO Court and a better understanding of the features of the destination. With this in mind, CDG focused on the need to attract more visitors – both domestic and foreign – that sought a different leisure experience in Ireland while also targeting large organisations and event companies looking for different and unique locations to hold business and social events.

CDG developed the core brand identity around experiencing the unique history and heritage of EMO Court and its surroundings. The logo created reflects the valuable history and heritage values and incorporating a contemporary clean structure, creating a strong and unique visual identity. The straight, bold and modern lines represent the historic architecture of the House & Gardens while the elegant font script sits in harmony with the modern lines of the building creating a modern yet classic logo.

We chose a traditional colour palette and designs to enhance the overall impact of the visual identity. The secondary graphics represent EMO Court and its traditions, history and architecture.

Communicating a destination and location for all.

It was vital that the development of an online platform to promote Emo Court not only built on its history but provided a modern-day appeal to both tourists AND organisations, both nationally and internationally as an ideal destination and venue.

The commissioning of bespoke photography was used to great effect in creating an alluring impression of the heritage, history and amenities that Emo Court has to offer.

A simple, informative and easy to navigate website was designed to ensure that visitors quickly grasped the character and attraction of Emo Court as a leisure and corporate destination.

In addition, clearly defined tabbed sections make it easy for users to plan their visit and keep abreast of upcoming events and developments.

The creation of an online platform was supported by the design and production of traditional promotional collateral.

Tradition thriving in modern times Since the launch of the new brand identity and online presence website traffic increased by 150% in the following 6 month period with a significantly lower bounce rate.

Despite the Covid 19 outbreak in early 2020, footfall / visitor numbers have grown appreciably despite the house itself being closed for long periods during the outbreak. It is expected that Emo Court will also see an increase is the number of visitors from outside of Ireland in the future.

Despite the ongoing restrictions caused by Covid, EMO Court is now has a well-established online presence as a local and tourist destination and in the potential to be a go-to venue for corporate events social occasions.

CDG is delighted that its work on this project has seen this historic stately home find its place as a contemporary leisure destination and venue. The future looks bright for Emo Court.

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