Portsmouth Historic Quarter

Renamed, rebranded and relaunched, Portsmouth Historic Quarter is set to curate experiences, community and an unmistakable sense of place.

Inspired by history

The naval base and shipyard at Portsmouth launched Henry VIII’s Mary Rose in 1511 and the Normandy landings in 1944. The historic boats, boathouses and other buildings throughout the area have deep and exciting stories to tell.

Since the 1980s, Portsmouth Historic Quarter has been responsible for bringing those stories to the surface – celebrating the past and creating the future of this important naval heritage. The new visual identity takes direct inspiration from the historical elements that make the site unique.

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Becoming a flagship brand

Until recently, the organisation worked mainly under the radar. It had a long, forgettable name and a rarely deployed, easily overlooked visual identity. Its partners, like the Mary Rose Trust and the National Museum of the Royal Navy, were the ones flying the flag.

In a series of workshops, we helped the organisation’s leaders to define exactly what they wanted to be to their volunteers, visitors, partners and supporters. A placemaker. A creator of culture. Rooted in history and excited for the future. A leader with a vision and a convenor that can coordinate partners to make it real.

Portsmouth Historic Quarter is a name with a vision, and one that unites the partners that make the experience of the area what it is. Combined with a visual identity that draws on the textures, colours and shapes of the area, it’s the brand of a true placemaker.

Stamp of quality

The Portsmouth Historic Quarter logo is inspired by the vernacular typography found everywhere around the area, stencilled on signs and stamped into metal.

The circular logo recalls old customs officers’ stamps, standing proudly and powerfully alone or as an endorsement alongside partner brands, where it creates a common thread pulling a variety of attractions together as a unified experience.

After mapping a complex landscape of locations, attractions, projects, developments, experiences, products and services, we devised simple systems of co-branding and sub-branding, as well as a website that offers a cohesive experience for visitors, volunteers and supporters.

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