New Barbican identity by Citigate Lloyd Northover

A new brand identity for London’s Barbican Centre was launched this week, along with plans for the redesign of the centre’s foyers and public spaces.

Citigate Lloyd Northover won a competitive pitch in June to create a new corporate identity and develop a website, which is due to launch at the end of the year (DW 15 September).

The rebranding is the Barbican’s first since it opened in 1982. Managing director John Tusa describes it as “a young organisation wearing very old clothes”. The new identity aims to reflect changes made over five years to the centre’s programme, and its increased commercial use for conferences and exhibitions.

The result is a repositioning of the brand around the concept of discovery, with a logo focusing on the single word Barbican, which becomes the new brand name. The identity uses a new font and three palettes: purple, orange or red – to reflect the diversity of the programme content.

CLN vice-chairman Jim Northover says the consultancy will be consulted on the application of the identity during the redevelopment.

“I think it is right that the Barbican is looking at these things together and realising that it is all part of the process,” he says.

Architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has been appointed to create a strategic plan for the redesign of the Barbican’s interiors. Barbican artistic director Graham Sheffield says, “The main vision is to achieve an aesthetic that communicates what we are – artistic and lively. I want people to enjoy being in the open spaces. In their empty state they can be quite depressing.”

AHMM partner Paul Monaghan adds, “We want to bring back the qualities that have been lost over the years.”

Work includes the construction of a new internal bridge and the establishment of two clearly defined entrances at ground level. The Barbican has also commissioned architect Caruso St John to improve the Barbican Hall.

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