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The 2016 thoughts archive

United through conflict

Last month saw the launch of our latest work for IWM, a brand campaign to mark the reopening and £3 million transformation of the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford.

Based in the historic air base and working airfield of IWM Duxford, The American Air Museum tells the story of the collaboration between Britain and The United States in 20th and 21st-century conflict. As well as housing the best collection of American aircraft on display outside North America, this newly transformed exhibition tells the personal stories of the men and women whose lives were touched, changed and intertwined through war. Told through personal accounts and multiple perspectives, it’s the tale of two nations brought together through war, loss, love and duty.


At the heart of the 'United through war' campaign is the unique relationship which Britain and America have forged during conflict. Putting people at the heart of the campaign, authentic archive photography is combined and over-laid in a montage imagery styling. The creative execution highlights how the lives of these men and women will be forever connected with this historic air base and the aircraft that flew here.

Creative Director Karen Hughes explains “The role of IWM is to challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, encouraging a deeper understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on peoples’ lives. Therefore, what better way to tell the story of American air power and its role in modern day conflict than through the eyes of the people whose lives were shaped by it.”

85 personal stories are told throughout the exhibition, ranging from the engineers who worked on the planes, the pilots who flew them and the war brides who married American servicemen during the war. The stories are told from contrasting perspectives, giving a rounded view of the consequences of war.


Strategy Director Claire Rigby explains “Personal stories and recollections are a powerful way of connecting modern audiences with past conflicts. By focusing on the human side of war the Museum can appeal to both traditional air enthusiasts, as well as audiences interested in discovering more about the varied and significant impact of the US-UK relationship on people and society in general”.

“Through their work with us on the launch campaign for the transformed American Air Museum at IWM Duxford, True North have creatively and successfully encapsulated the concept of two nations united through their experiences of war.” Says Penny Hamilton, Head of Brand & Marketing Imperial War Museums

Connecting people and communities through storytelling

Yesterday saw the launch of the name and identity we created for Storyhouse, a new £37m cultural centre for Chester.

The innovative new centre designed by architects Bennetts Associates is the biggest current Arts development project outside London. It features an 800 seat theatre, capable of conversion to a more intimate 500-seat layout, plus cinema, studio and cafe bar. The building will also house the city’s library, in an innovative mix of cultural and art offerings unique in Britain.


In addition, Storyhouse will curate and produce a diverse range of events and festivals throughout the Chester and West Cheshire region, including Grosvenor Park Outdoor Theatre, Chester Music Festival and Moonlight Flicks.

Artistic Director of Storyhouse, Alex Clifton says: “We will be running a building like no other. It needs a unique name to reflect its unique offer. This is a place to discover, make and share great stories. It’s a place to bring inspiring ideas to life. Storyhouse brilliantly captures and communicates the creative spirit of our integrated library, theatre and cinema.”

Our research saw us engage with funders and stakeholders across the Arts, Political and Commercial landscape, as well as with existing Arts providers in the region and the general public in a two day consultation.

Inspired by the original art deco building and the organisation’s role of connecting people and communities through storytelling, the visual identity is made up of a number on interconnecting geometric shapes.

Creative Director Karen Hughes explains. "It was important to us that the identity reflects the values of the organisation as well as feeling like it belongs within the space. The brand identity that the team has created feels reassuringly and instinctively right for both the building and the organisation, ensuring it has authenticity and longevity."


Over the next 12 months True North will continue to grow and adapt the brand as the buidling nears completion.

Senior Designer Adrian Newell says “Rather than creating a rigid set of guidelines, we will continue to work alongside the client team, helping them to bring the new identity to life as the building develops, enabling the brand to adapt and respond as Storyhouse takes shape.”

"We’re over the moon at our new identity. It’s a straightforward expression of the journey we have been on as a company and where, together, we are going in this amazing new building.” says Andrew Bentley, Chief Executive of Storyhouse.

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