Agenda reveals Great North Museum identity

Agenda Design Associates’ £15 000 visual identity for Newcastle’s new Great North Museum is unveiled this week.

The logo references the north point of the compass and is intended to emulate the simplicity of iconic marques like those of Nike and Apple, according to the consultancy.

Tyne & Wear Museums appointed Agenda in January, following a three-way unpaid creative pitch against Newcastle-based group Sumo and London studio Nick Bell Design. It briefed the consultancy to create a logo, marketing campaign and brand guidelines for the new £26m natural history and archaeology museum.

‘The museum needs to be a very adaptable brand, as it has about 12 stakeholders,’ says Agenda creative director Paul Davis. ‘We tried to remove the potential pitfalls of communicating such a complex organisation by creating simple, clear branding.’

The logo will appear mainly in amber, a colour that Davis claims reflects the manufacturing heritage of the North East and recalls the rising sun.

Formed from the shell of the city’s Hancock Museum, the Great North Museum is being designed by Sir Terry Farrell, and will contain 11 exhibition halls by Casson Mann (, 13 Feburary).

Although Agenda beat Sumo and Nick Bell Design in the pitch for the branding contract, all three consultancies are working on the museum.

Following a two-way pitch in March , Nick Bell Design was appointed to create the wayfinding for the museum. It beat Agenda to win the £50 000 contract, which includes the manufacture of the signs.

‘The wayfinding will use the typeface and colours of the logo, but will not include the arrow motif, as that would be overkill,’ says TWM senior manager Lindy Gilliland.

Sumo has designed a new website for TWM, which launched at the end of September and includes a Great North Museum section.

The museum is scheduled to open in April 2009

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