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Newcastle Helix

Creating a new brand, that's shaped by over 500 data points.

Project involved:
Branding -  Photography - Film  - Advertising - Website - Social

Role: Creative, art direction & design
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Agency: Bandstand

Copy: Will Miles, Padraic Walsh
Design: James Clarke
Development: Your Majesty

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Project summary

Newcastle Helix is the only city-centre innovation district of its kind in the UK. With committed long-term investment from its three largest stakeholders (Newcastle University, Legal & General, and Newcastle City Council), the vision is to create a vibrant ecosystem that will enable the commercialisation of products within Urban, Life and Data Science sectors.

The 24 acre site incorporates buildings dedicated to data and life sciences, 100's of future-proof smart homes, offices, laboratories, theatres, a hotel, food and beverage units and green-space. It exists to help us all live better lives. Easier, healthier, longer, smarter.

The stakeholders wanted to put Newcastle on the map, they needed a fresh brand for this exciting new city quarter, with the scope to attract progressive companies, young and old families, as well as students and academics from across the world. 

Bandstand undertook in-depth research, interviews, and workshops to inform our brand strategy. It led us to a complete overhaul of the brand, including a new name, ethos and look and feel.

The scheme's vision is bold and therefore our brand had to be bolder. It would be the foundation for future comms, campaign work, and events for years to come

To reflect the progressive nature of the site, we used newly-developed algorithms to devise a generative logo formed by the data collected at Helix and around the city (everything from humidity to vehicle speed).

The logo’s fluctuations mirror the ever-changing data, created by over 500 data points throughout Newcastle, creating a new static logo every 15 minutes. The moving generative super-graphic can be exported to be used across digital, social, video or print.

It’s fluid wave design symbolised collaboration at the Helix. The movement and styling of the lines were to reflect this idea of moving forward and being in it all together.

We partnered with the very talented Amsterdam-based agency, Your Majesty, who helped bring our idea to life. They helped us create an exhibition tablet tool to engage and educate new clients, companies, and children.

A new website was built to launch the generative identity and showcase the ecosystem. Post-launch, We have additionally developed a comms programme to drive awareness of the scheme to carefully-defined target audiences (B2B, community and residential), across onsite signage, events, collateral systems, social media and DOOH. 

This has been a rewarding three year project; From building the Helix brand, and its marketing campaigns to creating the new identities of each individual building within the development.

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Newcastle Helix exists to help us all live better lives: Easier, healthier, longer, and smarter.

The generative logo is a visual representation of what is happening on site.

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The supergraphics (created by data) became the hero of each touch point, from social to OOH.

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A bold, progressive placemaking brand; Pushed across onsite signage, events, marketing materials, social and advertising. 

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Want to talk about a job or project? 
Drop me a line
helloshanehorn@gmail.com

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