AKA brands Manchester district

Manchester market district Longsight is sporting a fresh identity, designed by AKA, to reflect the fruits of a three-year long regeneration programme.

Manchester City Council appointed the design consultancy eight months ago, ahead of the completion of a European-funded rejuvenation scheme involving the widening of pavements, improvement of lighting, parking and other shopping facilities to help increase footfall to the area.

According to AKA creative manager Craig Johnson, who led the project alongside operations manager Natalie Maughan, the brief was to visually define and make marketable an area that already had a very strong identity.

AKA was asked to consult with a diverse range of stakeholders, partners, traders and the local community to channel perceptions into a visual representation, and from this devise a set of identity options.

‘Because this is about branding a community, it took seven months to go through all the various stages, talking to the people in the area, traders in the markets, going into the schools and asking people to describe Longsight in a word,’ says Johnson.

‘Greens and blues really came through and we’ve tried to incorporate that into the logo. Trying to keep everyone happy along the way was a bit of a challenge. We had to devise a series of 14 options for the logo, which were whittled down by a committee. The one that was chosen was the one with the most positive reaction. To keep everyone involved at every step meant not being precious about our work,’ adds Johnson.

The identity is this week being applied to touchpoints from advertising to eco-friendly jute bags given out by market traders, to help promote the area to a wider audience.

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