New identity for arts organision IOU represents ‘the past moving into the future’

Studio Contents has created new branding for Halifax-based arts organisation IOU, in the first full rebrand in its 37-year history.

IOU Logo
IOU logo

IOU operates a main gallery space at Halifax’s Dean Clough Mills, and also orchestrates satellite site-specific contemporary art installations and performances.

Studio Contents was appointed to the work around five months ago following a three-way pitch.

IOU poster
IOU poster

James Gilbert, Studio Contents director, says, ‘It was a case of unifying everything and creating a new visual identity to be used throughout.

‘We had to convey what the company was about, as it’s quite unusual.’

Gilbert worked with brand strategist Christopher Charlton to create the branding following a series of workshops with IOU.

‘We wanted quite an unusual logo’, says Gilbert. ‘In a lot [of applications] the letters are shown separated in random places to make it a little bit more interesting and echo the philosophy of the company, which is all about adventure, excitement and strange and wonderful experiences.’

IOU stationery
IOU stationery

The logo uses split gold and white lettering, which aims to reference the metal used in many IOU-commissioned installations in gold; and the increasing number of digital works, represented by white.

Gilbert adds, ‘It also represents the past moving into the future.’

IOU behind the scenes whale tubes photograph by Percy Dean

Source: Percy Dean

IOU behind the scenes whale tubes photograph by Percy Dean

New imagery for IOU was created with photographer Percy Dean, who shot a number of ‘behind the scenes’ images.

IOU Mobile site
IOU mobile site

IOU’s new website launches this week, created with developer James Galley. It features a bespoke CMS and a database of IOU works, which users can click through in a similar way to Wikipedia, according to Gilbert.

IOU website
IOU website

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