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Nicola's designs create shared identity for community centres

Nicola's designs create shared identity for community centres

A Buckinghamshire New University Graphic Design graduand was shortlisted in a national competition for her ideas to remove ‘negative stereotypes’ around a housing association’s community centres and boost their identity.

Peabody Trust, which was founded in 1856, has more than 80 community centres across London and Essex, and Nicola Gould’s plan would be to rebrand the buildings as ‘yourspace’, breathing new life in to the services.

The ambitious student, who graduates in September, was shortlisted in the YCN Student Awards for her ‘identity system’, which gives each Peabody community centre a range of ways to brand themselves.

Nicola is displaying her work at Bucks New University’s Art & Design Summer Show at its Campus in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, until Wednesday 19 June.

Peabody’s community centres, which are referred to as ‘community spaces’, are home to arts and culture centres, health and wellbeing support, and professional advice and guidance for residents and local communities.

Nicola Gould looking up to an image on her poster

Nicola said: “Peabody wants to create a stronger common identity and has found due to a variety of reasons there isn’t a sense or common understanding of what you can expect when you walk in to one of its centres.

“Through research I discovered that people often have an unclear view of community centres due to stereotypes that have built up around them so my identity system has a range of ways each Peabody Centre can brand itself, under the guise of ‘yourspace’.

“This is based on what I call a ‘power of five’, reflecting Peabody’s values of Ambitious, Collaborative, Caring, Empowering, Trusted; five hand designs on its promotional material to communicate those values; and five colours to work within.”

The branding would be used for advertising in local areas; on business documents for management committees and Peabody staff; and to create a new identity in Peabody community centres.

Nicola said discovering she had had been shortlisted for the YCN Student Awards, where she presented her proposals to Peabody staff in London, was ‘quite surreal’.

Yourspace logo

“They said it was the equivalent standard of a PhD because of its complexity, which was great to hear,” added Nicola, who aims to pursue a career in branding and strategy.

“If taken on, I believe my designs would be a success for Peabody.”

Nicola’s achievements at Bucks New University also included creative proposals for Laithwaite’s Wine which contributed to adverts the company ran in The Sunday Times.

Senior Lecturer Sarah Kirby-Ginns said: “Nicola’s Peabody project was heavily focused on addressing community and social issues and she produced a fantastic project and final brand identity design, with huge commercial viability for both practising designers to use and the Peabody community themselves.”  

See Nicola’s range of work, and the projects she has worked on at Bucks, on her website.

Courses exhibiting at the Art & Design Summer Show are Creative AdvertisingFashion Design; Graphic Arts; Graphic DesignInterior and Spatial DesignProduct Design: Product Design: Interior Product; Textile DesignFoundation Degree Kitchen Design; and Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art, Design and Media.

The Show is open from 10am-2pm and 5pm-7pm on Tuesday 18 June and Wednesday 19 June.

Visitors to the Show should report to the University’s reception, where they will be shown round by a student. 

For more details on the Art & Design Summer Show follow #bucksshow19 on social media for developments.