22 April, 2008 – Oldham's new visual identity approved
Oldham's new visual identity, one of the outputs of the Oldham Rebranding Project, has been unveiled following approval from Oldham Council and the local strategic partnership.
Based on the concept of ‘one Oldham’, the new marketing approach focuses on bringing together all the diverse communities and landscapes that exist across Oldham whilst also introducing a specific ‘tone of voice’ that embraces the individuality of the different towns, communities, generations and cultures that go to make up the place as a whole.
The identity scheme itself is intended to present Oldham to the outside world in a more modern and upbeat way. It comprises a strong signature turquoise colour to give boldness and a high recognition factor on the street, a distinctive typeface that reflects Oldham’s down to earth and practical character, and a circular three dimensional graphic ‘badge’ in which the subtle reflection of Oldham’s landscape can be seen.
Sue Vanden, Director of Hemisphere, the Manchester-based agency commissioned to work on the Oldham rebranding project comments, “The Oldham brand strategy was developed after a wide-ranging process of research and consultation and one of the most important issues this highlighted was the perceived fractured nature of the local community. Therefore, one of the key objectives of the resulting visual identity brief was to create a sense of unity for the town, as well as communicating its distinctive mix of urban and rural landscapes.
“We have worked to create one coherent brand whilst, at the same time, recognising that there needs to be flexibility to present what Oldham is about to a wide variety of audiences. A single slogan would not be appropriate so we have developed a range of phrases in a particular style, such as ‘many places, one direction’ or ‘many cultures, one community’. Adopting this approach enables us to appeal to both residents inside the various districts of Oldham where we need to work towards a more cohesive community, and outside the area where we have to work to overturn existing negative perceptions.”
Council Chief Executive, Andrew Kilburn, said, “One of the key aims of the new identity was for it to be simple, effective and easy to use across the whole of Oldham. The visual approach that’s been developed will work well for Oldham because it signifies unity whilst simultaneously acknowledging the importance of the diversity of places and communities that go together to make up Oldham as a destination. “
“The research undertaken as part of the rebranding project confirmed that we need to start thinking and acting more positively about Oldham and presenting ourselves in a more positive light externally or we risk losing out on many of the opportunities that can help improve the quality of life for residents. Current perceptions are having a negative effect on everything from attracting inward investment to encouraging people to come here to live, work and study. We see the new brand as being a positive platform from which we can look forward and start getting Oldham’s message across to the outside world.”
Implementation of the new identity is now in planning. The new brand will be implemented gradually over time and should start to appear from early summer onwards.
Hemisphere has been responsible for creating successful brand identities for Salford and Bolton.