Middlesbrough Town Hall

A new brand celebrating an iconic music venue.

Middlesbrough Town Hall has played host to many great names in music, Oasis; Bowie; The Clash; AC/DC; Radiohead; The Smiths and many more! With their 130th anniversary in January 2019, we were appointed in Autumn 2018 to create an identity and start to build a brand that would position them for the next phase of their astonishing journey.

The venue was closed for several years as it was transformed with the support of HLF and Arts Council funding, it re-opened early 2018. Cherished by many people over the years, the new identity needed to reaffirm Middlesbrough Town Hall as a place for the community as well as signal the transformation, aiming to grow audiences and bring new talent to their stages.

We spent time understanding the venue, the spaces and how they are used, and importantly meeting staff and holding a workshop session to define their vision for the future of the town hall. For the brand to be a success, staff had to believe in it first and foremost.

Following the research and staff involvement, it was clear that the brand needed to celebrate Middlesbrough Town Hall’s role within the town yet have the ability to communicate beyond the locality. We defined their core positioning as ‘The beating heart of Middlesbrough’, reflecting the town hall being the civic heart of Middlesbrough since 1889, a meeting point for the community for generations, as well as their energy, spirit and importantly music at the core of everything they do.

The core idea adapts to reflect the attributes of the town hall, extending the narrative with ‘The beating heart of the community’ or ‘The beating heart of local talent.’

We also developed a wider narrative with key values that will influence everything the town hall do – ‘Inspiring music from the heart’, ‘Local stage, World-class ambition’, ‘Dare to surprise’ and ‘Authentic experiences’ reflect the multi-faceted, ambitious vision of the town hall. The staff immediately got behind the values and could see how they captured the aspiration for Middlesbrough Town Hall.

To bring this to life visually, the angled logo reflects the music, sound vibrations and the energy that runs throughout the town hall. The bold typography has a solidity that nods to the central, corner location of Middlesbrough Town Hall, connecting and crossing over to reflect it’s standing as the civic heart of Middlesbrough.

Altogether were an absolute delight to work with – all the team thoroughly enjoyed participating in the ideas workshops, and the resulting new brand will undoubtedly make us stand out as a venue.

Lorna Fulton – Head of Middlesbrough Town Hall