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Newcastle Helix 

A vision for better living

Newcastle Helix is a 24-acre site in the middle of Newcastle city. It’s where the brewery used to be. It’s a one of a kind in the UK. It’s a neighbourhood with shops and cafes. It’s a university site. It’s an innovation district for businesses. And it’s a residential area, with homes and green parks. But – when it was put out to pitch – it had no brand, no vison, no comms and the wrong name. So we got to work.    


The big plan from the three partners behind it (Newcastle University, Legal & General and Newcastle City Council) was to create a vibrant ecosystem that will enable the commercialisation of products within the Urban, Life and Data Science sectors (Newcastle Uni is really hot on these). We devised a new name, identity and aspirational vision: Newcastle Helix exists to help us all live better lives. Easier, healthier, longer, smarter. This was an interesting one for a creative, as I was involved right from the very beginning, shaping the brand framework and debating with the 1,001 stakeholders about the name.


To reflect the progressive nature of the site, we used newly-developed algorithms to create a generative logo. The site has dozens of sensors collecting real time data about the city (everything from humidity to vehicle speed). And the logo’s fluctuations mirror the ever-changing data. A new website was then built to launch the generative identity and showcase the ecosystem. Pretty nifty.

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