Old Windsor Carnival Programme



The Old Windsor Carnival which is in its 61st event is a thriving occasion that raises money for local charities and is known for bringing the community together. Each year comes a different theme, this year of 2023 the theme is Kings and Queens and is to be emphasised through the use of a carnival programme. The committee planned to print 2400 copies to share across the village of Old Windsor. The programme is the hub for sharing information and the schedule for the three-day event. The programme consists of a 50/50 split of adverts for local businesses and information around the carnival and its various events.

Restated Brief

From an extensive brief from the client, we aimed to create an inclusive cover design that is lively and eye-catching. The cover needs to depict the selected theme of ‘Kings and Queens’ in which the client has stated that they want the colour choices to be vibrant. So therefore, we aimed to implement this into the design. On top of this, to also design a sophisticated structure whereby a variety of advertisement sizes work on a fixed template alongside the editorial text ensuring an easy read for all audiences. Deliverables for this project consist of a printed events programme exhibiting an impactful cover.

Research and Ideation

With the theme of ‘Kings and Queens’ being prominent in the early stages of this project, the end product needed to convey this with aspects that all audiences would recognise. As it was being delivered to houses across Old Windsor and they actual event has activities for all ages, the target audience was extremely vast. Alongside the client we had various meetings into what can be exhibited on the covers. The obvious subject matter we spoke about was members of the Royal Family and previous kings and queens. We then ventured into the realm of kings and queens of the animal world as well as playing cards and chess pieces. Due to this list of potential ideas increasing every meeting we suggested to the client to produce a cover in a collage style as it can accommodate for all topics mentioned above. This would create a sense of community by combining contrasting imagery all in one place much like the carnival does for the community of Old Windsor. The list below was accumulated from these meetings:

    • Kings & Queens past and present
    • Crown
    • Sceptre
    • Sovereign’s orb
    • Coronation spoon
    • Chess pieces
    • Playing cards
    • King Cobra
    • King Penguin
    • King of the beasts – Lion
    • King of the birds – Eagle
    • Kingfisher
    • King Prawn
    • King Salmon
    • Queen Bee
    • Queen Snake
    • Queen Angelfish
    • Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (largest butterfly in the world – 30cms wide!)
    • Queen Snapper
    • Queen Carola’s Parotia (bird of paradise)

Design Process

The Cover

As the cover will be the first thing our audience will see, this was a priority in the early stages of the project. We provided various different sketches around the subject matter in the list above. This was done to broaden our ideas and once receiving feedback from the carnival committee we were then able to refine these into a final cover concept.

Figure 1. Sketch depicting a King and Queen surrounded by a carnival.


Figure 2. Sketch depicting a collage of the Kings and Queens in the animal kingdom.


Figure 3. Sketch depicting a collage combing both concepts in the previous sketches.


With feedback from the committee, it was made apparent that they thought an all animal or mixed collage would be best suited for the current theme of the carnival. The animal covers were approached as a scrap-book collage and each animal had an effect of a sticker. This was done to easily identify each animal as well as keeping the illustration style the same for a cohesive look. This also provided the cover with varying yet vibrant colours which is something the committee wanted to see within the cover. See Figures 4. & 5.


Figure 4. Sticker collage concept


Figure 5. Sticker collage concept


With these covers and from feedback from both committee and supervisors, this imagery did not directly link to the theme of ‘Kings and Queens’ and more linked to a theme relating to just animals. As a result of this information the committee favoured the concept of a mix between animals and royal paraphernalia.

Figure 6. First concept on mixing both animals and royal paraphernalia.


This cover included the right imagery but did not reach the objective of being vibrant and colourful. This meant going back over the illustrations of each element and manipulating the colours to stand out more. It also heavily emphasised the Royal family and royal paraphernalia over what the committee wanted to see. This being more of a mixture of aspects that could represent the theme of ‘Kings and Queens’. See Figure 6.


Figure 7. Final cover for the 2023 carnival programme.


The final cover seen in Figure 7. depicted the right amount of elements from the list both us and the clients came up with in our meetings. The clients felt this option was what they wanted to achieve with vibrant colours, recognisable elements relating to the theme and links to the village of Old Windsor. These links being the three crowns which is a statue positioned on entry to the village.


Pages and Their Contents

The inside pages of content were an extremely challenging component to this project due to multiple stakeholders sending content through via different formats. Each committee member is tasked with gathering information for different segments of the three-day event which meant dealing with multiple points of contacts. On top of this, information received had many inconsistencies in which needed to be mended. With lots of information coming in through different formats a well-structured document with fixed styles was needed to manage the content. With this project, content was still being sent the day before the print deadline, so the use of grids and paragraph styles made it easier to implement the content and pages throughout the programme remained consistent. Figure 8. shows the 2-column grid used for body copy throughout the programme. Light rules were also implemented to help assist in the navigation between pages which can be seen in Figure 9.


Figure 8. Grid system used for body text throughout the programme.


Figure 9. Mockup on how rules were used to distribute content.


Using paragraph styles ensured that the hierarchy was easily established and navigation was simple. This is something we wanted to focus on within the content of the programme as feedback from the committee about previous years mentioned that legibility and loose text made it difficult for readers to take in the information especially for the large elderly population in Old Windsor.


Figure 10. Paragraph styles used to keep hierarchy consistent.


Adverts play a huge role within this programme as the money made from organisations submitting adverts is what pays for the production of the 2400 copies. As companies were paying large sums of money for their space in the magazine it was essential to have a format in place to ensure the adverts were equally treated depending on how much they paid. Below is the template used for the adverts throughout the programme as well as an example of how this looked. Smaller organisations such as local businesses who purchased smaller advert spaces sent across files that did not fit within this template. With permission we were able to create our own versions which included the same content but was more malleable to the advert template.


Figure 11. Template for advertisements.


Figure 12. Example of what the adverts looked like in the programme.



This project helped with an array of different elements into the professional world of graphic design and more specifically editorial design. One thing that was extremely beneficial was understanding the importance of a well structured document. Due to information being sent the day before the print deadline, a well structured document meant that we were able to manage this efficiently under the pressure of a tight deadline. This project also helped in developing communication skills with clients and setting realistic expectations for both parties involved. This made communication easier and created a scenario in which potentially letting down the client was not an option. Speaking with printers also helped in understanding what is needed in order for the printing process to move efficiently.