Newcastle Environmental Branding

Client: Newcastle City Council

Category: Environmental Branding, Art Strategy, Signage Strategy, Book Design

Working closely with the landscape architect team LDA Design, United Creatives were appointed to conduct an Environmental Branding exercise within the city of Newcastle which concluded in a toolkit of illustration relevant to the city and which can form the basis of a design code for new public realm design.

Environmental Branding is the process of acknowledging, preserving and celebrating the spirit of a place. Collectively, it is the set of design aesthetics, visual signatures, materials and approaches to architecture and design that together make our cities unique and give them their character and identity. We believe these are things worth celebrating and preserving.


Colour & Materiality 

A colour and materials palette was sourced by celebrating the colours already strongly associated with Newcastle, these were the colours which consistently appear and reappear across the city. 

Working to ensure a palette is adopted where possible, especially within new schemes, strengthens a sense of place and forms the ‘visual glue’ between different urban areas within the city centre. 

When faced with the selection of new materials for public realm projects we worked to ensure a synergy between colour and materials that collectively forms a go-to palette for a wide variety of uses. 


Visual Signatures

A toolkit of ‘visual signatures’ unique to the city were drawn up to form the basis of new public realm designs. Savvy to everything from tree skirts to new shared surface paving schemes the goal is to bolster a design code with relevant visual signatures that work collectively to strengthen a sense of place.


Using our environmental branding document and the vector illustrations we had drawn up we created a range of designs for new street furniture, tree skirts and lighting columns. 

The designs incorporate bespoke patterns inspired by the local architecture and visual signatures of the city, tying them in to their surroundings and creating a visual sense of place. 


Our design for the four-sided lighting totem features a modulating pattern that is positioned at different heights on each face of the column. When the four faces are viewed in sequence these patterns line up to create a subtle wave.

This design means that the same totem can be used down the length of the street and by simply rotating each one 90 degrees upon installation can create the subtle wave effect when viewed in sequence.