Tyne Derwent Way

A brand to connect communities and green spaces.

The Tyne Derwent Way is a wonderful nine-mile stretch of greenery that weaves its way from the heart of Gateshead through the stunning Derwent Valley, alongside the Tyne and Derwent rivers. The cycle and walking route begin at St Mary’s Heritage Centre before running though Gateshead Riverside Park, Dunston Staiths, the Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre, Nine Arches Viaduct, Thornley Woodland Centre and ending at the Gibside Estate.

Led by Gateshead Council in partnership with National Trust, Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust, the partnership were eager to raise awareness of the area.

The team want to increase community engagement and volunteering opportunities in the are to deepen people’s connection to this invaluable space. As well as exploring how a greater focus on nature, heritage, culture and art could be introduced along the route.

Community members and volunteers told us they love the area’s natural beauty and the freedom to enjoy it, whether on foot, by bike, or just kicking back with a coffee. From kingfishers and red kites to historical sites and stunning bridges, they told us about the attributes that make this route special. They wanted to position Tyne Derwent Way as the go to area for green space and nature in the city.

Taking cues from the community, we created an identity that nods to the Derwent’s name, which means ‘river where oaks were common’. Using organic shapes and the iconic oak leaf, we designed a word marque that mirrors the natural and flowing fluidity of the rivers and green spaces.

The broader identity highlights the landmarks and diverse experiences along the route, through a blend of nature, architecture, bridges, and sculpture. Our illustrations flow seamlessly from one highlight to another, creating a vivid journey through the route.

We created a range of launch communications including a unique illustrated map of the area, spring activity programme, outdoor event flags, social post templates and a brand expression guide.