Today was the launch of a new website for Culture in Common, a Flying Geese client in the New Forest who we’ve been working with since August 2022.

We teamed up with creative agency Kakadu Creative on this vibrant piece of design, developing the brief, providing content and together ensuring the site reflects Culture in Common’s ambitions and values.

Culture in Common launched in 2022 as one of the new generation of Arts Council England Creative People & Places (CPP) projects. The CPP programmes take a radical, participatory approach to creating cultural offerings in areas of historic low engagement, building from the ground up with community anchors and panels designing programmes in collaboration with artists. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to communicate this radicality – it’s easy to get lost in the arts funding lexical landscape of ‘consortiums’, ‘co-creation’ and ‘delivery’.

With the support of Culture in Common’s project director, Jacqui Ibbotson, we asked Kakudu to do what they do best and take us beyond the safe zone to create a website with serious personality. We’d like to think that’s what we’ve achieved.

But it wouldn’t be Creative People & Places without the community influences that have gone into this design.

Firstly, there’s Culture in Common’s values, which were identified by its New Forest community anchors and became front and centre of the brief we put to Kakadu.

Secondly, the design workshop run by SPUD for St Barbe Museum’s Young Curators. The design and colour scheme for Culture in Common’s visual identity emerged from the young people in this session, before being formalised by illustrator Sarah Hoyle. It’s this colour scheme Kakadu have so expertly deployed in the website.

Finally, the extensive community consultation and surveys Culture in Common undertook across the New Forest to understand the needs of local audiences in more detail than ever before. We interpreted this data for our Audience Development Plan for Culture in Common, creating audience avatars that inform everything from Culture in Common programming to website design.

We’re really pleased with this Culture in Common website. We also want to give thanks to another CPP programme, Peterborough Presents, and their producer, Charley Genever. We thought their website was great and we wanted to use the same designers – and Charley gave Kakadu the thumbs up.

Also Kakadu have taught us a lot about sustainable web design. Sustainability is built into everything they do, not just design but also the causes they support by donating a portion of their profits each quarter.

We hope the Culture in Common website shows what you can do with confidence, community involvement and a willingness to go beyond your comfort zone.