Magnetic North creates destination website for Manchester

Magnetic North has worked closely with creative director of Manchester Peter Saville on a destination website for the city.

The consultancy was appointed in July 2009 after pitching a concept based on live feed data using Fabric, a back-end system developed in-house.

‘In the pitch we talked about Fabric as an interface for the city, an application programming interface system which collates data and listens to what people are saying about Manchester,’ says Magnetic North creative director Brendan Dawes.

The consultancy’s API pools information from social media feeds pertinent to Manchester, which appear on screen. This is overlaid by key information, navigated to by tabs which append to the bottom of a continuous scroll.

‘We’ve broken with the idea of pages – Web as paper behind glass. A city is always in a state of constant flux. Most destination websites are static. We want to show Manchester as a live and constant stream,’ says Dawes.

‘There’s a serendipity to it;  You can discover things you weren’t looking for, like in a real city,’ Dawes adds.

New typographic software has allowed Dawes to deliver ‘proper typography’, he says. ‘Traditionally, digital designers can only use system fonts, unless they’re using Flash,’ adds Dawes. A serif font has been chosen.

Saville assisted in the choice of typography, and the live feed colours reference his logo for the city.

The site is live at

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