The Shetland Brand

A significant place branding project to capture and convey Shetland’s phenomenal potential.

Project Overview

NB has been delivering the Promote Shetland destination marketing service since 2017. As part of our work, we identified a need to completely overhaul Shetland’s brand so that we could present a strong, modern and ambitious image of the islands.

During 2020 our team conducted extensive research and developed the “Islands of Opportunity” brand proposition which focuses on the abundance of potential that still remains in Shetland, across all sectors of our dynamic economy.



NB Communication took over the Promote Shetland destination marketing service in 2017, with a broad remit to promote the islands as an attractive place to live, work, study, visit and invest.

In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic delayed or even cancelled many aspects of our planned work, we took the opportunity to focus resources on a significant and strategically important piece of work – transforming the Shetland brand.

Our Lerwick-based team led this work, with specialist input from our network of trusted experts. Together we define a modern, forward-looking brand which celebrates Shetland as the “Islands of Opportunity”.

The project resulted in a complete overhaul of all of Promote Shetland’s promotional assets to reflect the new brand direction, enabling us to better tell Shetland's compelling story.


The existing Shetland brand guidance, including the “Pride of Place” brand marque, had been in use for well over 10 years when we took over the Promote Shetland contract in 2017. Although it was a strong piece of work when launched, it had dated and was no longer aligned with Shetland’s situation and aspirations. We identified a clear opportunity to redefine the Shetland brand to better capture what makes the islands different.

We sought to capture a bold, ambitious image of Shetland to positively influence perceptions of the place, all the while keeping everything grounded in reality.

A key challenge was to ensure that the new brand direction was relevant to a wide range of relevant audiences including potential new residents, workers, students, tourists, and investors. Another important audience is existing Shetland residents who have a huge role to play in unlocking the immense potential within our communities.


NB pulled together an experienced team to oversee the rebranding exercise. With a mix of in-house staff and trusted partners we were able to draw on a wide range of expertise.

We held workshops to explore what makes Shetland distinct, and to consider options for how the islands could and should be presented to the world.

Following on from this initial strategic work our design team created eye-catching visual ideas to capture the bold new direction for Shetland’s.

NB’s work on the Islands of Opportunity brand saw the development of a whole suite of new assets, specifically designed to demonstrate Shetland’s natural beauty, welcoming communities, positive outlook, and abundant untapped potential.

Services Provided

1. Islands of Opportunity brand promise

Shetland has a fascinating story to tell, and our islands capture the imagination of people all around the world. We have a bright future ahead, and by sharing the best of our islands with the right audiences we can all help Shetland punch well above its weight for decades to come.

Brand proposition

Shetland’s stunning natural environment, dynamic modern economy and safe, welcoming communities offer an abundance of authentic opportunities for all those who choose these islands as a place to live, work, study, visit or invest.

Brand proposition broken down

The power of the Shetland brand lies in its authenticity. We to our brand proposition and broke it down to reflect each element of Promote Shetland’s target audience.

Brand expression

Shetland’s contemporary brand encapsulates the compelling story which we wish to share about the islands. The new marque is strong, modern and innovative that will communicate the excitement, diversity and promise of Shetland.

Brand guidelines

Islands of Opportunity is about much more than a logo. Our brand guidelines detail the strong, positive image of Shetland and describe the tone of voice and visual attributes to use to strengthen the brand image.

Brand colours

A carefully selected palette of colours represents the Sea, Land and Sky that Shetland is famed for. Secondary colours were chosen to complement the core palette and reflect other elements of life in the islands.

Tone of voice

A distinctive and consistent personality and style reflects the Shetland brand. The way we speak to different audiences may change, but the underlying tone remains consistent.

Usage applications

The brand includes examples of how the image can be presented in different ways. Whether the marque is used in advertising, in official documentation or on social media the image presented remains consistent.

9. Welcome Pack and Recruitment Toolkit

We quickly adopted the new brand and used the guidelines to inform the design process while creating new documents to help those considering moving to Shetland.

Social media

Deploying the Shetland marque across Promote Shetland’s social media channels, helps amplify our campaign messages by ensuring a consistency of presentation.