Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Written up brief set by the DBA - Design Business Association and BAGD.

Capital North.


The government has recently revealed a strategy to develop the North of England as a second economic capital in Britain to redress the economic balance across the country and to compete on the world stage. They are calling this strategy 'Northern Powerhouse'.

The government believes that, by improving the transport infrastructure through HS3, connecting Leeds to Manchester, and tapping into the huge potential of the North of England, the North will become the globally significant economic force it has always powered to be. 

Great global cities have many attributes - access to a deep pool of human capital, great jobs and businesses. Fast and effective transport connections. Strong universities and hospitals, colleges and schools. They have the entertainment, the housing, culture and sport that makes for good lifestyle.

On a global scale northern cities are quite small and have individual strengths but together they have the capacity to ac as a global city. The concept of 'The Northern Powerhouse' builds on the idea that those cities, in a  belt runs from Liverpool to Hull are stronger together, not as a rival to London, but to be its brother in arms for Britain's share of the global economy.

Although HS3 will not be a reality until 2030, the idea already has significant impetus and the process of 'connecting' the major cities has already begun. Although, the current government is driving this forward, the idea has been around for many years and it is now fully accepted that this is the way forward for Britain. 

(Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull - East to West on a Map)

The Brief:

To brand 'Northern Powerhouse' and create awareness of it's many and varied attributes to the rest of the world.

There's still a lot of uncertainty around the detail of how a 'Northern Powerhouse' will manifest itself, however for the moment let's assume the four cities that head up the 'Powerhouse' will be Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull which creates a nice neat line across the North.

The idea requires a name and a brand, so that the world understands that this is a significant single entity. After a 'consultation process' with all the key stakeholders the name 'Capital North' has been selected - combining purpose and place. It's easy to remember and recall. 

This is an identity project, very much about the craft and visual problem solving of design. The brief and name is all sorted so there's nothing to distract you - concentrate on working a big visual idea around the brief and producing beautifully crafted elements.

Sweat the small stuff - we want you to work every tele,went really hard. Not only should the big idea be compelling but the way it's brought to life, the attention to detail, the way it looks should be beautiful and carefully considered. 

When considering final solutions, avoid cliches and stereotypes. Rolling countryside, regional dialects and visual shorthands are not appropriate here. This is not about what it's like to be in t'North, its role is to attract interest and investment to a region with an ambition to create prosperity to rival any economic power.

Organise yourselves into teams, numbering about 4 people in each. We want you to work together to make decisions, to self edit, divide and conquer, and build the presentation as a team with shared responsibilities. 


The target audience is very broad - everybody and anybody, in the UK and abroad. 


To  keep focus on technique, craft skills and refinement, we're limiting you to  smaller number of applications. Only two are compulsory and choose another two from a longer list.

Mandatory Applications:

1. Logo
2. Posters x 4 (1 for each key city).

Additional Applications:

3. Train livery (external facade of a train).
4. Train Staff Uniform.
5. Taxi livery (external facade of a taxi). 
6. Environmental
7. A 'What's On' App (what's happening in Capital North?)

Key Dates:

Weds 11th Feb - Crits.
Fri 27th Feb - Presentations and Judging.


1. Myself
2. Bethany Dalzell
3. Victoria Redmond
4. Sam Cook

No comments:

Post a Comment