Uniform brands Liverpool’s Ropewalks area

Uniform has created a visual identity for Liverpool’s Ropewalks area, which encompasses the city’s Chinatown.

Liverpool City Council appointed Uniform in February, following a tender process that involved more than 30 consultancies.

The branding is part of an attempt by the Creative Ropewalks Stakeholders Group, the Mersey Partnership and Liverpool City Council to boost tourism and investment in the area. Liverpool City Council senior development officer David Marsh says, ’Uniform fitted in well with the Ropewalks vibe. It’s local, culturally aware and not the standard pinstripe suits.’

Marsh hopes that the branding will project the area as an urban and cultural hub, like Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Originally used by the Old Dock of Liverpool, the area now called Ropewalks was redeveloped as part of a public works plan between 1999 and 2004, with public realm design by BDP.

Today the 35ha area houses Liverpool’s art-house cinema Fact, as well as restaurants, shops, cafés and offices. Uniform design director TimSharp says, ’It’s always a challenge to work a big mix of people.

We tailored the branding process to overcome this by holding workshops with the stakeholders before we started any creative work. That way, everyone understands where the logo has come from and can feel like they’ve been part of the process.’

The visual identity (brand guidelines document pictured) features a knotted rope that nods to the area’s maritime history. Sharp says, ’We wanted to be quite literal when reflecting the Ropewalks’ identity.

It’s an area where sailors used to stretch out their ropes, which is unique to the city.’ The logo also symbolises the idea of tying the stakeholders together and uniting the area, says Sharp. Uniform is currently designing the Ropewalks website, which will go live in the next few months, in collaboration with Digital Blah Blah.

The image-led site will offer a history of the area, promote cultural events and provide an online hub for local businesses and residents. The marque could also be rolled out across signage and publicity materials, as well as stakeholders’ stationery.

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