The Great Exhibition of the North promoting art, design and innovation throughout the region is exactly a year away and today it was revealed at the at the heart of its dynamic brand identity is a Yorkshire company.
Build, an award-winning Leeds creative agency, which has worked with Nike, Microsoft, Getty Images, Virgin America and Made.com, has teamed up with Northumberland-based Twentyseven.
The logo takes the shapes of an N and an upward pointing arrow, which are both common denotations of the North, to create a bold, angular and striking image full of energy and vibrancy, just like the North itself, say bosses.
The combination denotes movement in an upward or forward direction, which reflects the aims of the Great Exhibition to not only get visitors up North, but to be inspired by the exhibition’s future thinking content.
It will lead the brand identity for the £10m exhibition - which begins in exactly a year's time, from June 22 to September 2018 - celebrating great art, design and innovation to come out of Northern England
The Great Exhibition of the North will be based in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead, under the joint header of NewcastleGateshead - the destination marketing agency who are delivering the project to promote culture, business and tourism.
The region won a competitive bid against other cities and towns to host the 10-week event.
But it aims to boost tourism and investment while leaving a lasting cultural and economic legacy throughout the North.
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Build Creative Director Michael Place said. "The branding for the Great Exhibition of The North has been designed to be as dynamic as possible enabling it to speak in a multitude of voices.
"Sitting smartly within a corporate environment to being super playful for younger audiences, the identity is able to adapt to a variety of uses and importantly different demographics. The three main sectors of the exhibition - art, design and innovation - each have their own sub-identity within the larger brand. These can be used on their own or combined together creating a rich visual language for the exhibition.
"Utilising art direction and graphic design, we create brand identities, websites, packaging and books for design-led clients around the world. We help clients to communicate, tell their story or grow their brand with contemporary, thoughtful design. Utilising graphic design alongside art direction, image making, moving image, and typography, we specialise in creating visual communications for forward-thinking clients in design-led sectors.
The studio has been running for 16 years working on a wide range of projects within the broader sphere of design.
Twentyseven will build on an impressive track-record of working on cultural events, ushc as Cruise Show, Adventure Travel Show, VentureFest and FinanceCamp, to carry out the strategic campaign messaging for the event, working alongside Build to inspire potential visitors to #GetNorth next year.
An acronym of the Exhibition, the compelling call to action encourages the public to not only visit the Great Exhibition of the North in summer 2018, but to understand what makes the wider region so special and unique, including its fantastic culture, art and design.
Richard Fowler, Creative Director at Twentyseven said: "Working with our initial concept of ‘connecting’ - from both graphic and messaging perspectives - we went on to define the campaign tone and key messages by working closely with the Great Exhibition of the North team on a series of exercises that helped to identify the desired perception of the event.
"Using the information gathered we developed a 'core narrative’ that delivers a consistent yet flexible way of communicating what the exhibition is, as well as a series of ‘sub narratives’ each tailored to specific audiences, from the local and northern publics to corporate and contributor audiences.”
Kathie Wilcox, Director of Marketing and Communications at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, explained the two agencies are working closely together, each using their own specialist skills and strengths to ensure the brand campaign is impactful and memorable.
She said: “We’re delighted to have appointed two brilliant creative agencies from right here in the North, both have an impressive track-record in delivering innovative and inspirational branding campaigns. The very essence of the Great Exhibition of the North is about collaboration and celebrating the whole North, so to be able to bring in two agencies who represent the talent housed right here is fantastic.”