The vintage lettering of an iconic mill is the inspiration behind the identity of a new neighbourhood in East London. Like a mosaic, the brand by DNCO builds on the signage of Silvertown's Millennium Mills, one of two architectural buildings that are being brought back to life in a huge regeneration project.
DNCO was appointed earlier this year to develop the place brand for Silvertown, an enterprising new town centre for the Royal Docks. The enterprising scheme is bringing Millennium Mills and Silo D back to life – two local landmarks that act as figureheads for the transformation of the entire area.
Recognising local pride in industrial heritage along with the development's vision for Silvertown, DNCO came up with a bold new strapline: 'An iconic East London neighbourhood awakens'. This formed the foundation for the identity, positioning Silvertown as a town centre that "balances the needs of residential communities, next-generation businesses and future visitors to set a new golden standard for community-inspired place branding and as a beacon of enterprise and enjoyment where all of London belongs," as it explains.
For the logo, DNCO was inspired by the signage of Millennium Mills and wanted to build on its legacy. "We created a set of graphical modules to form the foundation for the brand's visual language," explains Patrick Eley, creative director. "We used these to design a custom typeface, form dynamic patterns, as containers to create engaging layouts and at scale as supergraphics. It was a simple yet powerfully effective way of threading Silvertown's industrial character throughout the whole brand."
He adds: "Silvertown will become an iconic London destination, a hero in the wider Royal Docks story with the potential to reinvent the capital’s relationship with the waterside. With this brand, we wanted to harness the neighbourhood’s proximity to the water and the phenomenal industrial legacy that flows from every brick, tile and silo."
The new brand was announced this week across hoardings, website, merchandise and on-site and will be rolled out over the coming months.
"From the location of Bond and Spiderman films to Newham's annual fireworks display, Silvertown and its iconic mills have been a backdrop to local lives and Hollywood films for decades," says Simon Yewdall of DNCO. "But now it's time for Silvertown to take centre stage as a town centre for the whole of the Royal Docks and its communities. The place brand we created aims to reanimate this piece of dockland history, giving fresh excitement locally and citywide It is a destination neighbourhood for East London true to place, past and the people who call it home."