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Maximum impact for visitors, minimum impact on the building fabric.

Southbank Centre – Wayfinding Signage

Maximum impact for visitors, minimum impact on the building fabric.


London’s Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest arts and culture venue – and one of the top five visitor destinations in the UK. It runs festivals, exhibitions, art installations; as well as talks and performance programmes.

A new identity to mark the reopening of three of London's favourite arts venues

With three of its key buildings reopening after two years of renovations and in a move to unify the Southbank Centre as the ‘parent brand’ across the site, its team wanted to introduce a bold new identity.

London-based North Design was brought in to tackle the Centre’s first major rebrand in a decade. The aim was to create a new visual language – one that could be applied in online and offline communications.

A pragmatic approach

We worked with North’s new brutalist-inspired visual identity, keeping type sizes, locations and colours to a minimum. The big challenge was fixing back to the distinctive, uneven, board formed shuttered concrete surfaces. We wanted to minimise drilling into these protected surfaces but at the same time the individual letters had to be even and legible. We tested numerous approaches deciding finally on a simple and pragmatic rail system. Installation became much easier with the type being set at the factory and minimal onsite drilling required.

Multi venue rollout

We created new signage for the Hayward Gallery, the Purcell Room, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as a new donor recognition sign for The Anna & Michael Zaoui Gallery.

Our hands-on approach ensured that we not only achieved the desired design intent across the whole site, but also ensured quality and consistency in time for the Hayward’s long-awaited reopening.

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