This Christmas – Charnwood Borough Council

This Christmas - Shop Safe Shop Local - Xmas tree wrap

Each year Charnwood Borough Council and Love Loughborough actively promote the festive activities throughout the town and usually align with the pantomime at the Loughborough Town Hall. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic having made a significant impact on the planned festivities the message was very different.

The focus was towards shopping safe and keeping it local.


Crayfish Design were asked to create a fun, character based theme for the Christmas tree wrap that would build on the existing Shop Safe – Shop Local brand and support the safety message of ‘Wash hands, Cover Face and Make Space’.

This Christmas - Shop Safe Shop Local - Xmas tree

In addition to this, the design would be applied across different media including the Tourist Information Points (TIPs), crowd barriers, posters for footfall locations and social media posts.


  • Illustration
  • Signage
  • Poster design and layout
  • Social media

Concept and understanding

The ‘This Christmas’ message ‘Look for your local businesses online or in the high street’ was the primary phrase. A clear and simple message with the objective of changing consumer habits away from large national retail and online purchases and to encourage people to support their local community. As the campaign was to cover all independent businesses across Charnwood, it needed to be generic and so not identify or favour any particular shopping method or outlet.

Giving the consumer confidence to shop safely in the high street again was vitally important to the local economy. It was therefore, imperative to communicate the shop safe aspect but still add some traditional Christmas charm and an element of fun.


In creating the ‘this christmas’ theme we developed a series of cartoon based traditional Christmas characters to give a sense of comfort and to highlight the safety messages. To reflect the ‘Cover Face, Make Space and Wash hands we had Rudolph with a safety mask, Snowmen keeping their distance with a broom as a measure – and a pair of mischievous elves using a hand sanitiser bottle.

This Christmas - Shop Safe Shop Local characters - cover face - make space - wash hands

To provide the campaign with a local grounding, these were composed on to a simple snow scene with silhouettes of Loughborough town centre, the Carillon monument and other distinguishable features with a distant Old John monument to give coverage across Charnwood.

From our initial sketches we formed a set of illustration groupings which meant that we could be flexible with the format and adjust the scale and composition to fit the requirements.


This Christmas - Shop Safe Shop Local - Placards

In addition to the Christmas tree, signage and posters, the design was adapted as a set of placard boards for retailers to promote their business on social media posts.

What the client said:

“Charnwood Borough Council tasked Crayfish Design to create a fun, festive design to work alongside the Shop Safe, Shop Local campaign. The artwork was to encourage residents to shop local and get into the spirit of Christmas while remembering to stay safe.

The designs were required to be adapted for tourist information points, tree wraps, barrier banners, posters and digital media.

Crayfish Design worked extremely well with every aspect of the campaign, producing draft plans in a very tight timeframe which captured the design brief wonderfully. Working in consultation with the council team, they fine-tuned the design and we benefitted from their expertise and advice to produce the best material for the requirements.

It worked well as a complete design with a good mix between the shop safe message and a Christmas feel. The use of the 3D characters to enforce the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ messaging was superb.

The professionalism, excellent customer communications, design quality and insight were remarkable, and we will definitely look to use Crayfish for future projects.”

Catherine Thorne, Senior Communications Officer – Charnwood Borough Council

Related categories: Covid  Exhibitions and events