An iconic British arts district on the banks of the River Thames has rebranded with a new logotype, design framework and typographic expression.
Designed by the London-based creative agency, North, the rebrand, which has been in progress since summer 2016, comes as the arts district is undergoing a massive venue restoration and building overhaul. Ranked as Europe’s largest cultural and arts centre, Southbank Centre is also the UK’s 5th most popular visitor destination.
In September 2015 Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, were all closed to the public to carry out vital restoration work that would improve facilities for artists and audiences – the rebrand will link all the varying aspects of the centtre’s output together.
Chris Denton, Southbank Centre director of marketing and communications, said: “The purpose of the identity change is to create an impactful and distinctive new visual language for Southbank Centre and our wide-ranging audiences and visitors – across all our communications. The new identity will strengthen the awareness and understanding of Southbank Centre across its diverse 17-acre site, and beyond, and properly celebrate our brand position as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions.”
This brand-led approach will proudly signify “the role of Southbank Centre as location, author and presenter of world-class art and culture”.
North’s Sean Perkins added: “The new identity clearly, confidently and consistently communicates ‘Southbank Centre’ like a title of a magazine – everything else is the weekly, monthly features and highlights, the content.”
Yellow will be the centre’s core colour and used across the buildings to identify boundaries in the district. New logotypes have been created for Southbank Centre and Hayward Gallery, using the ‘Noe Display’ font by the type foundry Schick Toikka.
Explained Charlie De Grussa, also of North: “The logotype design and serif font choice was inspired by Southbank Centre’s brutalist architecture and the original Festival of Britain identity. This visual language reference runs throughout the identity applications, typography and wayfinding elements.”
The new branding will be rolled out gradually until the end of 2017 to reduce the wastage of existing materials and to reduce costs. North will continue to work closely with Southbank Centre’s design team on a variety of materials leading up to the reopening of the Hayward gallery in January 2018, with the first major UK retrospective of the work of acclaimed German photographer Andreas Gursky.