Intro will present logo treatments within the next fortnight for the University of Teesside’s DigitalCity initiative, a major regeneration project that aims to create a Silicon Valley-style business community specialising in virtual reality and computer animation.
Linked to Middlesborough’s emerging ‘cultural quarter’ at Middlehaven, DigitalCity intends to develop a purpose-built campus that encourages academic research and business development.
‘The big picture is about keeping graduates in the area and generating local growth in a [town] that’s been a bit overlooked, particularly after [the advent of] the Baltic centre in Gateshead,’ says Intro design director Mat Cook.
The project is also likely to involve an upgrade of the Hemispherium, the university’s widescreen immersive auditorium, into what Cook describes as a ‘virtual reality Imax [cinema]’, in order to create a tourist destination.
Intro’s design and brand work will reflect ‘things in states of transition’, he adds, displaying the crossover between art, technology and design that the project represents.
‘Visual approaches’ are being developed for three putative names, says Cook. DigitalCity is the working title for the project at present, he adds, though the client is ‘leaning towards that’ as the eventual choice.
‘It wants a very descriptive name,’ he adds. ‘We offered abstracts and constructs as well as area-centric names [along with those proposed by the client], but it wants something that’s very simplistic – in a good way.’
Once a decision is made on the name, work will progress toward the final identity, which could ultimately be used for applications ranging from ‘end stings’ on films to a ‘software brand’ endorsing material produced by DigitalCity companies.
Intro was appointed to the job last month following a tendering process in June.