Brand Evolution for Sudbury Landmark
In 2023, we supported a long-standing Sudbury landmark on Market Hill with its rebranding and renaming project. Formerly a redundant church named St Peter's, the Sudbury Arts Centre's new identity evolved over several months during insight, strategy, research and brand development sessions that saw our in-house teams meet regularly with the client.
Having worked in partnership with the venue’s operational team, Suffolk-based enterprise The Bridge, for several years and having developed the previous iteration of the brand identity as 'St Peter's', our team was well-placed to work on the latest chapter in the brand's evolution.
Thank you to the team at Mackman for everything they have done, and are doing, to support Sudbury Arts Centre. The whole rebranding process was methodical, measured, collaborative across several organisations with varying needs, and we really couldn’t have done it without them! It has taught us the real value in having experts leading the way.Alli Burke, Operations Manager at Sudbury Arts Centre
During the renaming process, we received crucial input from internal and external stakeholders in scoping and brainstorming sessions. It became evident in those sessions that the new identity should reflect the future usage and ambitions of the venue and be transferable to prospective site operators. As a result, we introduced the phrase 'ArtsCentre', which was agreed upon to enable the venue to be perceived as accessible and inclusive. 'Arts' is a snappy and easy-to-say term that encapsulates future event and workshop offerings, while 'Centre' nods to its central position geographically in the heart of Sudbury.
As consumer behaviours continue to change, businesses must adapt to suit those growing interests, and a rebranding project can be vital in reflecting the company's new mission. Sudbury Arts Centre is an excellent example of this, as the name and brand have been adapted to future-proof the venue and truly reflect its role in the community.
When a company, business, or social enterprise, experiences a significant change in direction, it often leads to a rebranding of some measure. In the case of Sudbury Arts, the goal of the rebrand was also to ensure it reflected the operational use of the space but in a way that was sympathetic to its history. We are confident that we achieved this objective in the rebrand, and we're excited to see more of the new identity unwrapped online and within the launch of the new website.
Key Brand Considerations
To gain further insight into the brand evolution and considerations behind the new Sudbury Arts Centre identity, we sat down with our creative team to better understand the thought processes that led to the new look.
Q: How did you approach the rebranding of such a significant landmark?
A: Our approach involved a great deal of research and brainstorming to agree on how to repurpose aspects of the building itself and bring those elements into the brand identity with nods to its heritage. By simply stepping inside the venue and speaking to volunteers and members of the community alike, you understand the impact of this former church and the new brand needed to convey that.
Q: Interesting that you touched on the building and bringing in those elements. Was that important to the team to ensure those visual identifiers were there in the new brand?
A: Emphasis was placed on honouring the essence of St Peter's Church visually in the brand, highlighting its importance to Sudbury's history and its value to the community. We drew inspiration from its prior form, new function and purpose, and surroundings in Suffolk.
Q: How did you reach the new brand/logo design?
A: We were inspired by the angular shapes of the building's architecture and the makeup of the building itself. We also looked outwards into the surrounding community when creating the logo design. The heptagonal shape that now represents the Arts Centre comes from the outer boundary of the Sudbury parish. It symbolises the Arts Centre's goal of uniting the community through art, performance and culture.
Q: And are there any nods to the heritage and history of the building within the new brand?
A: We heavily emphasised the origins of the building and its personality through storytelling and our visual approach to the new identity. We purposely unwrapped the brand during a social campaign that introduced different visual elements alongside excerpts of the bespoke poem penned by Luke Wright. Using the hashtag #JoinTheConversationSudbury, we drew attention to the finer details and considerations that make up the brand before unveiling the final iteration.
The historical significance of the church has been at the forefront of the development strategy, and we have been in continued close contact with specialists at the Churches Conservation Trust to ensure this was not lost in the rebranding process.
Please get in touch with our team if you would like to discuss a rebranding project and want to discover the services we can provide.