Crewe was a town that had lost faith in itself – the story we heard from residents during our initial engagement was that ‘everyone thinks Crewe is rubbish’. The focus was so heavily on concern at external perceptions, we had to dig much deeper to get to the essence of what Crewe and its people stand for; and what the town has to offer.
In Crewe, we kicked off with a place brand masterclass evening, followed by a series of sector-specific workshops. The insights we gained from these 7 sessions we then used to inform a public survey which was completed by some 1500 locals – from Crewe, its surrounding ecosystem of smaller towns and wider Cheshire. We discovered a place with a workforce that is highly skilled, resident communities that are truly engaged and a ‘roll your sleeves up and get stuck in’ ethos. The people of Crewe built their town from the ground up – before the railway industry there was nothing there, and they continue to play an important role in advanced manufacturing and the automotive industry. In 2019, students at Crewe’s technical college used 3D printing to recreate the engine of the first ever steam train to roll down Crewe’s tracks – if that’s not a powerful skills legacy, then we don’t know what is.
The visual identity for Crewe is as bold, straightforward and dynamic as the town – pops of colour pack a punch against a palette of industrial greys and blues, with directional motifs showing that this is a town determinedly making forward strides at every opportunity.