— N8 Research

We need a new brand identity in six weeks.


After successfully pitching for the project at the end
of April, all collateral had to be produced for a launch
event at the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of June,
which gave us a turnaround period of six weeks.

N8 is a research collaboration between the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York). N8 was created in response to the government’s 2004 launch of the Northern Way.
N8 is positioned directly to compete with the dominance of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College to gain research funding from government bodies and industry.
N8’s first step was to identify areas of research excellence in the North of England which were internationally competitive and which could be translated into significant benefit for the UK over the coming decade. The initial priorities are Ageing and Health, Water, Molecular Engineering, Energy and Regenerative Medicine. Early and continuous engagement with relevant industry players is a key component of their strategy.
Our brief was to develop a strong identity, which defined the collaboration and communicated a strong empathy with its stakeholders. Through our initial research it became apparent that traditional university branding was inappropriate for this audience. We also felt it was important that the design should somehow reflect the unconventional approach to problem solving which research evoked.
The solution we eventually developed was therefore not an obvious choice for this type of organisation, however, the internal working group embraced the boldness and simplicity of the design and all collateral was delivered for the much vaulted launch at The Houses of Parliament.