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A Place Brand for Middlesbrough

HemingwayDesign have completed a place brand for Middlesbrough.

We fell in love with the town and the spirit of its people. This town is full of surprises and we believe that the place brand can help to blow those media-led negative preconceptions out of the water.  

We delivered a series of engagement and consultation sessions that set out the strategic context for the Place Brand process and presents an understanding of the area’s actual and perceived character and characteristics.  Over 500 people completed the perceptions survey and attended workshops at the marvelous MIMA ( Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) and the quite brilliant Orange Pip market. Responses from our online engagement with Middlesbrough residents have helped to shape our narrative and inform the values we instill in the place brand. 

In the early stages of the place-brand project, HemingwayDesign organised a participative drop-in T-shirt making workshop and installation that aimed to empower the people who have an interest in Middlesbrough / Teesside to explore local distinctiveness and help unlock the value and potential of the region.  The starting point was a blank canvas (or plain white T-shirt): we asked each participant to consider the region with fresh eyes as we discussed what the community need is and how it is being met. We were aiming to highlight the town’s special, interesting and unusual assets and capture the local communities’ vision, hidden activities, local hot spots and personal historic or current stories so together we can build a vibrant narrative for Middlesbrough. 

Participants had the choice to select from an alphabet of letter transfers and a suite of pre-printed imagery relating to Middlesbrough / Teesside, to design and print their own T-shirt transfers and were invited to bring along personal photography or artwork to create their own Middlesbrough masterpieces. The results were photographed and displayed as part of Big Tees installation with the public taking home their creations at the end of the day.


Middlesbrough Council engaged Hemingway Design as its partner in the creation and launch of a new place brand for the city.  Hemingway Design led an approach that was creative and inclusive, engaging local residents and businesses to create a new narrative for our city and our people.  The result is a place brand that truly reflects who we are and what we want to become and is a significant strand of our work to deliver both social and economic growth." ~ Tony Parkinson, Chief Executive, Middlesbrough Council



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