Mansfield Library: the whole building came to life

Nottinghamshire County Council


The brief

We were commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council to create an interior personality for Mansfield Library that was unique and uplifting. A place that the community would want to visit time and time again, that they could call their own, irrespective of age. The project also required graphics to help intuitively guide users around the building and allow them to find what they were looking with minimal staff intervention.

The thinking

A library is a place where anyone can find out about literally ANYTHING. This might be via a book, video, CD, or via the internet, all of which can be found in Mansfield Library. In order to convey this idea we used clusters of random objects, every object with a story behind it. The ‘oddness’ encourages enquiry, whilst at the same time adding visual interest.

On arriving at the first floor the first impression is one of colour and space. The curved bookcases have illuminated header graphic panels. These follow the ‘objects’ theme, but link to the subject area of the bookcase, for example the gardening section features garden tools. Sections are also colour coded to help customers navigate.

A previously blank long wall behind the IT area was transformed with an 18 metre colourful wall graphic. Large scale graphics are used to identify other key areas, such as toilets, carefully positioned to ensure visibility from across the library. We felt it was important that children had a part of the library that was a place for them, so we created a children’s character called Scribble who is seen doing lots of fun things.

The result

Before the refurbishment, library staff were constantly dealing with customer complaints and comments about the state of the building infrastructure  and on its appearance (dull interior, very 1970s, dark and uninspiring). Since the refurbishment these negative comments are virtually eradicated, instead staff frequently receive glowing feedback from the library visitors. Some impressive statistics back this up (2010 was the last year before refurb, 2012 the first full year after completion):

  • +30% increase in library visitors (2010 vs. 2012)
  • +207% increase in new members (2010 vs. 2012)
  • +481% increase in event attendance (2010 vs. 2012)
  • +72% increase in book/stock issues (2010 vs. 2012)
  • +88% increase in computer/internet use in hours (2010 vs. 2012)

The library was looking good [after the builders finished], but when you came and installed the graphics the whole building came to life… we are all SO excited now, it feels like our library.

Aileen Prince, Nottinghamshire Library Service
Meet Scribble

Reimagined public street signs

Dylan Coonrad reimagines public street signs to reflect a world facing coronavirus

A crosswalk sign with the people standing apart and warnings not to shake hands are among the series of conceptual signs designer Dylan Coonrad reinterpreted to fit with the coronavirus’ social distancing guidelines.

Continue reading here

Trumpet blowing

Newenglish Design WINNER at DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2019 for Beeston Library.

We are pleased to announce that Newenglish Design has won aprestigious award for our work on Inspire Culture’s Beeston Library, Nottinghamshire at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2019. These Awards recognise projects that demonstrate design’s tangible effect on a business by drawing focus onto design’s strategic and commercial value.

The creative work resulted in a 62,721 increase in library visits, a 42% increase in new members, 135% increase in event attendance, and a 300% increase in room hire income.

Entered jointly by the client andNewenglish Design, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are an annual event that provide powerful evidence that design thinking combined with business acuity can bring about the right conditions for business transformation to occur.

The shortlisted winners had been selected through three rigorous rounds of judging, by a panel made up of design and marketing heads from leading brands and organisations.

Read the press release here

A creative hub for start-up creative companies

LCB Depot

The Brief

Newenglish were commissioned to create a brand identity for LCB Depot—a former bus depot that was to be transformed into a creative hub for start-up creative companies, the first of its kind in Leicester’s emerging cultural quarter.

The identity needed to be creatively unique and reflect the energy and ethos of the building. Practically, it needed to work across signage, print and digital media.

The thinking

We introduced the idea of using cubes to represent the creative spaces themselves as a theme running throughout the building.

Clear cubes above the main entrance house fluorescent acrylic letterforms which glow like works of art, and form the basis of the print identity. Inside, the cube theme continues. Toilets are signed with cubes containing a toilet roll—pink for girls, blue for boys—and companies can fill their own studio cubes with whatever objects they choose.

The result

This is a striking, original and humorous identity that captures the spirit of ‘creative space’ within the LCB Depot.

Newenglish Design created this unique identity over 10 years ago, and it’s still looking sharp and fresh, and recognisable as a creative landmark in Leicester’s cultural quarter.

The identity ties in perfectly with the culture and thinking behind the project. A great visual statement for the creativity within LCB Depot.

Cultural Quarter Projects Director, Leicester City Council

Wonderfully creative project for Phoenix Square

Newenglish were delighted to win the competitive creative pitch to create a brand for Phoenix Square in Leicester. The project included the branding, signage & wayfinding, photography, print & web design.

The brand needed to embrace and individually express Phoenix Square cinema, Phoenix Square apartments, Phoenix Square studios and Phoenix Square managed workspaces. We were asked to work with the architects to provide interior treatments, signage and guiding, along with the initial web presence and marketing for Phoenix Square apartments.

This was a wonderfully creative project for us to tackle. We wanted to create something that reflected the animated experience of watching film and the digital focus of the companies to be based in the building. The wire typography that runs throughout the branding and signage was hand created by our team, and was developed to give a sense of technology and motion throughout the building and marketing materials. The curves of the branding work as a contrast to the angles of the building. The style of the typography lends itself to animation and looks beautiful both in motion, or as a static form.

This is a project we’re very proud of in the heart of Leicester’s growing Cultural Quarter. The branding successfully links the four elements of the brand under a common ‘umbrella’ theme, whilst allowing each to thrive. 

The studio spaces have all sold in a difficult economic times, and the workspaces continue to hit tenancy targets and beyond.