A New Brand Identity For Nottingham City of Literature

Tue 21 Apr, 2020

We've had a bit of a makeover, and incorporated a rather well-known local legend. Come and take a look...

When the project to demonstrate to UNESCO that Nottingham was worthy of the accolade ‘City of Literature’ was initiated back in 2014, it was felt the bidding process would require a logo and adjacent branding, and sure enough, a version comprising a book and the dome of the Council House was created.

As the success was far from certain - we’re still pinching ourselves- it was never expected that the logo would still be in use nearly six years on. Yet as the organisation started to grow, develop, and stake its claim in local, national and international networks, it was decided a refresh was in order.

"We started working with Makermet to develop a new brand identity that was bold, internationally-recognisable and user-friendly. They were inspiring, imaginative and responded really well to the ideas and future ambition of Nottingham City of Literature” Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature explains “It was like having a total rethink of Nottingham’s UNESCO designation really, reflecting all we’ve achieved in the last four years”

The creative professionals at Makermet went to work, producing literally dozens of ways to express what we wanted to shine out to the world. Waste-baskets (digital ones, of course) filled with discarded designs and concepts. How do you get across the diverse work we do, from spearheading city-wide mass reading campaigns to forming creative partnerships with Melbourne, Montevideo and Bucheon?

The process was fascinating to watch and be part of, and the chosen iteration: a stylised, calligraphic Robin Hood, conveys our rebellious heritage and our colourful, expressive future. This is a city that doesn’t rest on its historical laurels, nor flee from them: it knows that the same alternative spirit that coursed through Byron, Lawrence and, at least in legend, Robin Hood, is very much flowing through so many individuals and organisations that understand that we can indeed Build A Better World With Words.

Sandeep, who was instrumental in the process, says “I'm really happy with the design. We are looking forward to using the branding design across the website, social channels and all local and international programmes”.

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UNESCO Cities of Literature makermet

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