Opinion by Robert Holmkvist.
Located at the heart of Oxford, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, abbreviated to University Church, has been a site of worship and debate for over 700 years and is the “spiritual home” of the oldest university in Britain. The church recently received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to raise awareness of the historical nature of the site and to further enhance its potential as a tourist destination beyond the 300,000 visitors it already attracts per year. As part of this new remit, London based graphic design studio Spy were appointed by University Church to develop a new and more contemporary brand identity that could exist both on and off-line.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP) is the largest and best attended regional producing theatre in the UK and leading promoter of theatre in the South West. It runs a diverse programme of performances, activities and events, and has a 1300 seat auditorium capable of delivering West End musicals, opera and ballet, as well as a smaller 175 seat theatre for experimental productions. The building, located on Plymouth’s Royal Parade, also houses a café, restaurant and community performance space.
In response to increased competition TRP looked to diversify its audience, retain current visitors and to improve the uptake of its outreach programmes through a new visual identity system as part of a wider regeneration project. Developed by London based Spy, the visual identity system was created to reflect the dynamic nature and joy of experiencing live performance and to connect with a broader audience. This was achieved through a vibrant colour palette of shifting planes, patterns and light, and a holistic approach that, alongside logo and print, included animation, signage and wayfinding.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Gras and Groves-Raines Architects are Edinburgh-based architecture practices, and two branches of the same organisation. Gras explores experimental routes and works within commercial, public and private developments as well as exhibitions, while Groves-Raines Architects takes a more traditional approach, specialising in the conservation and restoration of existing buildings. Although their fields of expertise differ, both are bound by the shared values of a high quality holistic approach from design through to execution, and favour craftsmanship and fine detail. These values informed the development of a new cohesive brand identity for both practices, managed by design studio Graphical House, and which included logotypes, stationery, business cards and brand guidelines.