Birmingham’s creative quarter and one of the city’s most distinctive neighbourhoods has revealed its new brand, which celebrates the rich character of Digbeth, an area that has been a place for manufacturing since the Middle Ages and played a key role during Birmingham’s industrial revolution.
The brand echoes Digbeth’s industrial roots and its evolution into a neighbourhood defined by industry and innovation. The identity is informed by extensive interviews conducted with local business owners, who spoke of the area’s special character and their desire to see it live up to its potential.
To celebrate Digbeth’s character, Brand and Design Consultancy, dn&co, collaborated with Colophon Foundry to create a bespoke typeface inspired by the neighbourhood – Digbeth Sans. The font is free to download by anyone who lives and works in Digbeth. Joy Nazzari and Patrick Eley of dn&co both delivered talks at Birmingham Design Festival, which took place in Digbeth from the 5th – 8th July, and shared their experience working with places with a strong heritage, calling on designers to have the courage to create places that truly work for people, and build a positive vision of place. Attendees at the Birmingham Design Festival were amongst the first to be introduced to Digbeth Sans, and were invited to download the typeface.
Digbeth Sans is composed of several layers – including inline, outline and shadow – that can be dialled up or down to be as expressive or as restrained as needed. The result is a flexible typeface, full of personality – much like Digbeth itself.
The brand colour, unmistakably yellow, is a nod to the innovative eggless Bird’s Custard powder, which was manufactured out of Digbeth. Today the Custard Factory is one of Birmingham’s most desirable locations for creative businesses.
James Craig, co-founder of Oval says,
Our new brand reflects Digbeth’s unique heritage and its potential for the future. It celebrates the eclectic mix of makers and creators that makes Digbeth what it is today, acting as a beacon for meaningful revitalisation.