Corporate Edge sets sail on museum branding job

Corporate Edge has won a four-way pitch this week to develop a name and identity for the National Waterfront Museum Swansea, a £31m interactive heritage centre opening in 2005 that celebrates the industrial and seafaring history of Wales.

The consultancy joins a project team that already comprises Land Design Studio and architect Wilkinson Eyre, at work on the exhibition and building design respectively (DW 15 August).

The first priority for the naming programme is to agree the type of name suitable for the museum, says Corporate Edge project director David Riddle.

He adds, ‘There are currently two schools of thought [within the museum]. Some prefer something descriptive like the Natural History Museum and others want something more evocative like Urbis or Magna.

‘The name will need to build on the museum’s values and its [physical] design, which is challenging and innovative. We need to work out what sort of name is right and then consider how to accommodate people’s views.’

While Riddle implies a more ‘evocative’ name might ultimately be chosen, given the museum’s approach to content, he says it is too early to speculate about the creative direction.

Public consultation also needs to be considered in the name generation process. ‘Winning hearts and minds’ among a variety of stakeholders will be a key objective, he adds.

Riddle says the identity needs to ‘capture’ what it is about the museum’s environmental design that makes it ‘engaging, innovative and differentiated’.

The consultancy will also create design guidelines to ensure effective implementation of the identity.

Riddle anticipates a name and identity being agreed by the middle of next year in order to help with ongoing fundraising activity. Corporate Edge creative director Stuart Dickinson is leading the design team.

Contractors are due to go on-site at the museum in spring 2003.

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