London’s iconic BT Tower, the Grade-II listed structure opened in 1965 by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, this week switches on £1m exterior signage created by Rufus Leonard and Imagination.
The work is the latest manifestation of the broadcasting and communications company’s £6m, three-year re-branding exercise. BT launched its ‘connected world’ globe marque, which replaced the Wolff Olins-designed piper logo last April (DW 10 April 2003).
According to BT head of design David Mercer, the Tower’s signage, a ‘major undertaking’ that took nine months to come to fruition, is a ‘creative rendering’ of the BT identity.
‘The BT Tower is a very important building to BT, so we felt it was worthy of something different than what we’d do on our other buildings,’ he says.
The permanent installation consists of back-lit BT lettering and gently shifting illuminated colours drawn from the company’s identity.
‘It’s much more sympathetic to the [building’s] original architecture and contributes something to the London skyline,’ says Mercer, adding that the work does not denote any plans to change the building’s uses or function.
Rufus Leonard, which developed the Wolff Olins-designed ‘connected world’ identity and has since overseen its implementation, created the design concept for the signage. Imagination was responsible for the lighting and design implementation.