Iford Arts rebrand

If Opera are boldly reimagining opera. Formerly Iford Arts, during the pandemic they were forced to reassess and redefine who they are. Their original and ambitious new business model puts sustainability, diversity, equality and ‘opera for all’ at its heart and is set to cause a stir in the industry.


To launch this radical evolution successfully, If Opera needed an exciting new visual identity and launch campaign to spark interest ahead of their first season in 2022. Whilst wanting to appeal to a new generation of culturally dynamic theatre goers, it was also important to retain the interest of their current following, and respect the history and heritage of opera.

Although a perfect fit for the arts, access to animated and emotive photography was not guaranteed. Therefore, a further challenge was to find alternative ways to express the energy and creativity of opera in an impactful way.

Sue and her team at The Co-Foundry are just brilliant! They are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and most importantly patient. I can’t thank them enough for the work they put in to support our rebrand. Couldn’t have done it without them!

Julie Butterworth, Marketing, PR & Sales Manager, If Opera


Our aim was to capture If Opera’s entrepreneurial spirit – a disruptive reimagining of what opera can be for a new audience and the performers themselves.

We ran a co-creation session with the client to review their creative ambition, listen to their concerns and learn more about their aesthetic. This collaborative approach is a proven method to ensure we understand our clients’ journey and develop a design concept that meets their aspirations.

During co-creation we helped clarify the brand personality and identify who they were targeting. We reviewed close competitors and the wider Opera and entertainment category, such as streaming services and West End musicals. Creatively, we explored bold themes such as activism and jazz and explored the power of typography and the meaning it can hold.


Inspiring, imaginative, different and positive. The bold new character of If Opera is a refreshing new brand with an exciting future.

The main campaign idea is based around a series of challenging questions all beginning with ‘What if opera…?’, designed to provoke and engage. Delivered as an animated launch video and a brand manifesto, they serve to question opera’s status quo, act as a call to arms and cement the new brand name and mission in people’s minds.

Our design approach was inspired by the idea of a ‘counter-culture’ – in this case, culture (opera) that counters the norms and traditions that might be hindering it. Graphically this translated as the ‘What if opera…?’ questions as fly posters – the antithesis of how opera companies would traditionally market themselves – paired with a contemporary serif font to appeal to a mature audience.

In order to equip the client in all areas of comms, we developed a variable toolkit of templates, so elements of the campaign could be dialled up and down where needed. Our specialist content marketing partner, Sonja Nisson also delivered a content marketing strategy to sensitively manage the change and to enable If Opera to connect with the right audience in the right places, building valuable advocates for the brand organically.

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