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In conversation with Luby Hart, Art & Events Director at Twilight Trees.

As the Art and Events Director at Twilight Trees, Luby plays a pivotal role in curating and overseeing artistic elements for events and permanent installations and has a keen eye for detail and a strategic mind for event planning. From crafting designs in the studio to applying those final touches on-site, she delivers a seamless blend of creativity and precision that encapsulates the unique essence of Twilight Trees.

SDD: Can you share with us the inspiration behind some of the most memorable physical brand activations you've orchestrated, and how you seamlessly integrated artistic elements with the overall campaign message?

LH: One of the most eye-catching and memorable projects we recently produced was the creation of a spectacular winter forest for Sushi Samba in Covent Garden. The brief for this activation was to create an immersive seasonal winter space with a twist that captured the imagination of diners and passersby - that would, in turn, create a buzz around the Sushi Samba brand.

As with all our projects we strive to create the exceptional, and so, with Christmas approaching and the evenings drawing in, we decided to make use of light by surrounding the restaurant with a spectacular border of beautifully lit LED cherry and white maple trees - tying in perfectly with the branding of their event partner Grey Goose.

Not only did the installation bring warmth and joy to what was a dreary, cold, and dark time of year, but it also enticed passersby into the restaurant as the trees caught people’s attention as they walked along the cobbled streets of Covent Garden. With so many brightly lit trees placed around the restaurant and a silver birch arch adorning the entrance to the restaurant, individuals felt like they were dining in a magical winter wonderland.

Sushi Samba Winter Forest Installation, Covent Garden London


SDD: As the Art & Events Director at Twilight Trees, how do you approach the balance between creativity and logistics to ensure that the visual concepts you envision translate into seamless and memorable experiences for your clients?

LH: This is a great question, and it all comes down to our fantastic team - along with a significant amount of collaboration! From the start, our logistics and installation teams are involved in the design process to ensure that the final product can be delivered seamlessly. On top of this, we have a creative energy that permeates each team - and as a result, all of us are driven by the prospect of creating the extraordinary for our clients. We are also lucky to have a team of individuals who not only dream big but are experts in their fields, and so, by working together we can deliver inspiring installations for our customers.

Equally, the nature of our products allows us to be hugely versatile and create seemingly

impossible structures in any location – whether internal or external. Ultimately though, it is the overall team’s buy-in and motivation to create stunning and immersive installations that enables us to translate our creative visual concepts into show-stopping experiences that surpass our client’s expectations.


SDD: What role do you believe physical brand activations play in creating a lasting impression on consumers, and how do you ensure that they align with the essence of the brands you work with?

LH: Physical brand activations play a key role in enabling companies to form lasting impressions on consumers by providing experiential and immersive experiences that go beyond traditional marketing methods. In particular, we have found that they play a key role in crowded marketplaces where consumers are spoilt for choice. By creating something unique and memorable, brands can stand out from the crowd, attract consumers, and distinguish themselves from their competitors. We have also found that if consumers and passersby observe something unique and spectacular, they are far more likely to share their experience with friends and family, which can be incredibly useful marketing.

Furthermore, as a company that creates and installs artificial tree and foliage features, we

regularly work with branding agencies and individual companies on their activations. Not only are our installations visually impactful, but there is a lot of new research that shows the importance of nature on our wellbeing, with the presence of trees and greenery generating feelings of calm and happiness. As a result, our installations help our clients to build a positive relationship between their brand and consumers.

Finally, there are several qualities that we adapt for each project to ensure that our work aligns with the essence and vision of the brand – from the size and variety of the tree(s), to colour, and lighting. On top of this, we can also create bespoke products for instances where something unique is required. Each of the projects that we work on is designed to be inherently immersive as an experience, where consumers are captivated by the beauty of the installation and drawn in from afar. By playing with light, colour, and a variety of trees, we can create lasting impressions for our brand partners.

Pandora Press Dinner, Westminster Abbey London


SDD: Twilight Trees is renowned for its unique and captivating visual concepts. Could you walk us through the collaborative process between your creative team and clients in bringing these ideas to life, and how you manage to exceed expectations consistently?

LH: From the early conceptual design stage to the point of installation, collaboration is vital. Whether we are working with in-house designers, taking their simple sketches through to the final product, or working hand-in-hand with a branding agency to deliver on their creative ideas, a good working alliance is key. Not only do we strive to be inspirational in our visual concepts, but it is incredibly important for us to be team players who are approachable and flexible, as delivering outstanding results usually requires us to work in partnership with various teams, sometimes across multiple companies.

At Twilight Trees, our core brand value is to ‘change the space beyond our client’s imagination’, so we are continually innovating to elevate our client’s vision and exceed expectations. In reality, we are very lucky that a picture or sketch from the initial design phase can never really match the ‘wow’ factor of the finished installation, as the tangible product is always so much more impressive as it appeals to the senses.


SDD: Given the scope of your work, how do you adapt your creative vision to different locations whilst maintaining a cohesive brand identity for your clients?

LH: With a decade of experience under our belts, we have learned how best to work with different locations. Whether it is grand historic buildings, empty warehouses, small intimate settings, or iconic public spaces, both urban and rural, we have done it all(!) - and in the process gained a deep understanding of what will best complement and enhance a space, in a way that still allows for individuality.

Having created and installed hundreds of projects, we know that it is incredibly important for the end product to be designed with the location in mind, to ensure that the feature is sympathetic to the space that we are working with, whilst also being true to the brand identity of our client.

Nissan Feel Electric Festival, Covent Garden London


SDD: The combination of art and IRL space can be complex. Can you share an instance where overcoming a logistical challenge resulted in an unexpected and innovative visual concept, demonstrating the power of adaptability in your field?

LH: It was a privilege to work with Save the Children on their annual fundraising event, where the vision was to transform the crypt of the Guildhall into a snow-covered Narnia. To create the magic of Narnia, with the forest and castle setting of Cair Paravel, we installed over 150 snowy fir trees – which was not without its complications! Logistically, installing this many trees in a listed heritage building has its obstacles, however, the final result was mind-blowingly immersive and our client was thrilled with it all.

To top it all off, Save the Children managed to raise over £1 million which was fantastic, and we were honoured to have played a part in creating the setting for their Winter Gala. As mentioned earlier, collaboration is incredibly important, and on this occasion, we were part of a wider creative team that added special touches, such as the cupboard and street lamp to help give the full experience of Narnia.

Save The Children Winter Gala, Guidhall London


SDD: As someone deeply involved in both creativity and communication, how do you use visual elements to convey a brand's narrative, and what impact do you believe this has on the audience's engagement with the overall brand experience?

LH: As consumer preferences evolve, brands are recognising the importance of experiential marketing in building authentic relationships and driving brand loyalty. It is therefore no surprise that brand activations are increasingly becoming an integral part of companies’ marketing strategies, particularly as humans are multi-sensory and are therefore far more likely to remember a unique, visually appealing, and immersive brand experience.

We have found that visually compelling brand narratives are far more likely to capture attention and so we put a lot of time into creating installations that convey the brand narrative of our client. Two of the most important aspects we have found are colour and scope – for instance, we loved working on the Boodles shop front, which was covered in a stunning yellow laburnum to highlight the launch of their new collection of jewelry inspired by ‘The Secret Garden’. Images of the shop were shared far and wide on social media, creating engagement and a buzz around this jewelry.

On top of this, trees provide a universal narrative of connection, both with nature, as well as

between humans. There is an aspect of inclusivity that allows all consumers to interact with the brand activation and helps to instill a feeling of calm which encourages a positive reaction.

Boodles The Secret Garden Collection Installation, Old Bond Street London


SDD: With the increasing importance of sustainability, how do you incorporate eco-friendly elements into your physical brand activations, and do you see this trend influencing the future of event design and art direction?

LH: At Twilight Trees, one of our brand promises is sustainability. As a result, we are constantly innovating to create more environmentally friendly products. In this context, we are lucky that our installations can be dismantled and repurposed for future use as it means we are inherently sustainable as a product, and as such, are ahead of many other activations that cannot be reused or recycled at all.

On top of this, we have excellent relationships with local farmers who let us forage for fallen trees which we then use to build many of our new products. We particularly love these trees as they add an extra touch of realism and are almost completely natural (we enhance the trunks with artificial foliage).

To answer your question as to whether I see sustainability as a trend influencing the future of

event design and art direction, I would say absolutely. Not only is this trend driven by ethical

considerations, but brands also recognise that this objective increasingly aligns with consumer expectations. We are progressively seeing that consumers value brands that prioritise sustainability, and by incorporating eco-friendly practices, they are far more likely to build stronger connections with their environmentally conscious consumers. As Twilight Trees looks ahead to its next 10 years, we are certainly focusing on all that we can do to mitigate our effect on the planet and to create ever-more sustainable products.

Luby is the Arts & Event Director at Twilight Trees.

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