Bradford is craft central

The new Yorkshire Craft Centre opens adjacent to Bradford College’s Department of Art, Design and Textiles next month. Costing £4m, with funding from the National Lottery, the space will feature three main areas linked by a central caf&#233.

The new Yorkshire Craft Centre opens adjacent to Bradford College’s Department of Art, Design and Textiles next month. Costing £4m, with funding from the National Lottery, the space will feature three main areas linked by a central café.

First, are the workshops and studios for glass, jewellery, woodworking, ceramics and bronze casting. Then there is the new 300m2 exhibition and conference space named The Bradford Gallery. Third, is the Bradford Textile Archive, which will house a collection including some of Salvador Dali’s rare dress fabrics and precious Indian and French material dating back to the 19th century.

Leeds consultancy Thompson Design won a ten-way credentials pitch to create the identity at the end of last year. Part of its brief has been the implementation of the identity to internal and external signage, packaging, posters, literature and launch material, with digital media work in the pipeline, too.

Interiors for the centre were designed by architect Alan Todd, and co-ordinated by Vanessa Scarth of the Yorkshire Craft Centre. As a new building, the centre only had an interim logo, used principally on funding applications and project documentation, but this lacked punch, according to David Smithson, who managed the project for Thompson Design.

‘We started work on a literature style and a logo emerged as we tried out different ideas. We wanted something not too arty, but not over-corporate either,’ he continues.

Like the centre’s three-cornered focus of activity, the final design for the identity comprises three symbols, says Smithson. ‘We arrived at three abstract shapes, one reflects texture, one reflects three-dimensional form, and the other light. The logo represents the three activities of the centre as distinctive shapes, each complementary to the other,’ he concludes. The centre opens on 8 March.

Client: Vanessa Scarth, Yorkshire Craft Centre

Design: Thompson Design

Creative director: Ian Thompson

Senior designers: David Smithson, Paul Phillips

Latest articles