root 1066

international festival of contemporary arts

role: website design, website development, user experience

discipline: strategy / design / digital

awards: winner at the kent and sussex digital awards


Commissioned by Hastings Borough Council and supported by Arts Council England, Root 1066 was a contemporary arts festival to mark 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (2016). The festival aimed to promote Hastings and 1066 Country as a creative and cultural hotspot, showcasing the area’s cultural venues, annual events and eclectic arts scene.

Root 1066 presented high profile national artists alongside local talent, and was programmed to appeal regionally to mainstream audiences as well as niche cultural audiences.


Root 1066 was a one-off event, created and promoted in a short time-frame. However, the client wanted the brand (and website) to have a life beyond the event as the ongoing cultural sub-brand of the area’s tourism body. This meant creating an identity that was vibrant and exciting but also one with  the look and feel of a long-established festival with cultural gravitas. ifour worked closely with the festival’s design and production team to create a website that would bring the brand to life in a way that meshed with other, pre-existing marketing collateral.


ifour developed a new, interactive web template specifically for Root 1066, which captured the energy and excitement of a packed, high quality, cultural programme of live events with something for everyone. The design captured the look and feel of the Root 1066 brand, creating synergy with the print campaign and linking closely with the festival’s social media presence. The accessible and welcoming format was designed to have wide mainstream appeal, whilst also conveying cultural credibility.


ifour’s website integrated seamlessly into the festival’s overall marketing mix, becoming a vital conduit between other marketing elements, including PR, press, social media, radio and print. It also became an organic, interactive repository for festival content and an online record of the event.

Root 1066 Festival was a huge success. Brand awareness was quickly established and the festival gained significant local and national attention. Events attracted large local audiences as well as out of town visitors. The Root 1066 website handled significant traffic during the festival and was a finalist at the Kent and Sussex Digital Awards 2017. It is now likely to be re-purposed as a part of 1066 Country’s ongoing marketing portfolio.