Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
6:53 PM 10th September 2020

Barnsley Launches New Name And New Look For Digital Campus With Hemingway Design

A bold new visual identity and a clear sense of place and purpose has been launched for Barnsley’s digital campus.

‘The Seam’ is the new name for the town centre’s digital business district which incorporates established tech business hub DMC 01 and the new DMC 02 building due to open its doors this month. The campus will also include Barnsley College’s SciTech building for digital learning and, in future, there are plans to add residential, retail and travel facilities.

Renowned creative agency HemingwayDesign worked closely with Barnsley Council and its partners in the business community and education sector to decide the name and create the distinctive new branding for this expanding business development off County Way.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “The name ‘The Seam’ is essentially a reference to what we do here which is bring two parts together. The Seam brings together public and private sector, business and education, enterprise and innovation. It is also a nod to our industrial heritage in coal mining and in textile manufacturing.

“We’d like The Seam to be recognised regionally and nationally as a collaborative and creative business and learning community, where companies of all sizes and at all stages of development can come together to work and share ideas and opportunities. Our new name and new look will be used to help us raise our digital campus’ profile and consolidate the success of DMC 01 in nurturing local talent and attracting businesses from all over the UK and the world.”

Hemingway Design was chosen to create the new branding for Barnsley’s digital campus following a national tendering process. They secured the job with their collaborative approach, clear understanding of Barnsley’s vison and their experience of place-based marketing, with recent projects in York, Bognor Regis, MediaCityUK and Middlesbrough.

Founder Wayne Hemingway also has a personal connection to Barnsley as his family were originally from Cudworth and his grandad, Colin Hemingway, worked at Grimethorpe Colliery and played in its band before the family moved to the north west in the 1950s.

Wayne said: “We were very keen to work with Barnsley, not only because I thought it would be nice to work back in a place where my family name is rooted, but also because forward-thinking developments like this, that are focused on forward-thinking industries, are vital for the competitiveness and the ‘brand marketing’ of towns like Barnsley. I hope this is the start of HemingwayDesign’s relationship with the town.”

Sophie Gwynne of HemingwayDesign added: “Wayne and I were really impressed with Barnsley from our first meeting. We are naturally northern champions and loved working with this genuinely forward-thinking business community with creative edge.”

The Seam’s visual identity comprises a bespoke new typeface called ‘The Seam’ created by HemingwayDesign using a modular system to give a distinctly digital look. This strong typographical approach has been paired with a vivid palette to create a trailblazing identity for the digital campus.

Sophie said: “The new typeface fits in with Barnsley’s trailblazing ambitions. Having a typeface that’s tailor-made for this place, this time and this community sends a strong message every time it’s used.”

The Seam’s branding also translates into a new look for the two flagship Digital Media Centres within its campus. This gives DMC a refresh and brings all elements of the business community together with a clear, collective sense of place and purpose.

Barnsley's second digital media centre
Barnsley's second digital media centre
The Seam’s combined purpose is to be at the heart of Barnsley’s 21st century economy and play a key role in supporting entrepreneurial spirit and enabling the growth of digital industries which, in turn, will support the long-term regeneration of the town and creation of prospects for local people.

DMC manager Tracey Johnson said: “We’re passionate about great design in Barnsley and want both our buildings and our new brand to represent and support the huge amount of creativity and innovation in our business community.”

DMC 01 is home to dozens of creative and digital businesses as well as the council’s business support team, Enterprising Barnsley. It supports new start-ups through the Launchpad programme, plays host to a range of business, innovation and tech events and is at the heart of the region’s digital economy.

DMC 02 is a new development offering office space for larger companies, plus a co-working space and a maker lab for hands-on innovation. Its £1.7 million refurbishment has been backed by Sheffield City Region and it is set to support the creation of 100 new jobs. It is already attracting new tenants.

Barnsley College’s new SciTech building will soon pilot courses such as the new digital ‘T’ Levels and digital apprenticeships. The SciTech building will sit within The Seam’s digital business campus as its key education partner.

The Seam will see new developments in future as it puts forward proposals to further expand its business and community facilities.