St David's

Before any design could commence, some clear decisions had to be made about the name of the site. A shopping centre called ‘St David’s‘ had stood in the middle of Cardiff since the seventies but the new development expanded the site massively, as well as adding Wales’s first John Lewis as an anchor tenant at the end of the site.

There were powerful arguments for change, and we considered several other names for the site. In the end, the legacy name was kept, making it even more important that the new visual approach quickly stamped a memorable identity upon the whole area.

Several unusual schemes made it down to the last stages, but this design route made the final cut, based on the simple truth that once the centre had been rebuilt, all of Cardiff and most of Wales would come to visit it. From our ‘D’ of people that we constructed (at the top of this page) we simplified the pattern to a ‘D’ of dots. Then we added the name, in English and Welsh.

A special typeface was constructed using theΒ  people/dots for use throughout the scheme.

Here’s a close-up of the scheme in action on site, and one of the entrances.

A special set of icons was also developed as part of the brand toolkit, allowing the centre’s various activities and offers to be subtly branded without the constant repetition of the symbol.

Here are early designs for hoardings and billboards using the scheme’s typography, colours and approach.

These are examples from the brand manual showing use of photography, icons and colour.

And this is the invitation to the official opening and below are some more applications on-site including a vast three dimensional logo hanging in one of the atria.

Below are examples of the external and internal wayfinding system, developed with signage consultants to match with the overall scheme.

Here are more instances of the logo applied in three-dimensions or as super-graphics in the space. Despite launching deep in the heart of a recession, the centre has been a huge success and has, as hoped, revitalised the centre of the city.