BSDC is well known for being as creative off-stage as they are on it. Part of this involves working closely with venues to plan a marketing strategy that will maximise audience-building potential. For BSDC’s Full Contact, the rich history of vernacular graphics associated with Rugby League provided a great starting point for eye-catching marketing collateral.

Play up!

Named after John Baines, inventor of the football card in 1885, Baines cards were for decades highly prized by rugby league fans in the northern English working class towns where the game originated. Cards from the early twentieth century often feature star local players of the time and exhortations to ‘Play up!’

Reimagining the Baines card

The game still generates fierce loyalties in its northern heartlands, so Full Contact, BSDC’s dance and storytelling piece that celebrates the rich and little known community history of the League, provided the perfect opportunity to resurrect the Baines card tradition.

In a modern take on the originals, digital Baines cards were created as ‘teaser’ marketing to distribute online. Animated teasers brought snippets of the script to life as a way to get people sharing promotional material on social media.


Vernacular style

The uniquely evocative graphic style of the cards was referenced throughout the publicity material.

There was even a specially commissioned ‘Baines-style’ illustration, which was used as the main poster image for the show.