These Northern Types, (Public Work)

Art Direction · Campaign · Identity · Print · Self-Initiated · Typography · Web Design

What does it mean to be a northerner in a globalised world? Where the’s muck, is the’ still brass? Do we tolerate less bullshit than others? Has the St George’s Cross become a symbol of racism? Is making do and mending consigned to the history books? Where’s the line between being proud of where we’re from and making others feel excluded?
Do you want gravy on your chips? Or curry sauce?

These Northern Types is an exploration of contemporary northern identity. Through an exhibition and book of 16 works, the project asks what it means to be from the north – or indeed any place – in today’s globalised world.

From making possibly the world’s largest letterpress printing press, the People Powered Press (with a giant new type face cut from steel to match), and printing on life jackets used by migrants making the journey to Europe; to making inks from chip shop gravy powder and curry sauce and submitting an audacious application to trademark ‘The North’, These Northern Types is a thought-provoking and ambitious collection of works that simultaneously celebrates northern identity whilst asking probing questions about our relationship to place.

Thanks to the support of many, we’ve had the opportunity to develop These Northern Types into a project unlike anything we’ve undertaken before. Running for two years, it will culminate with the final collection of works and writing brought together as a full exhibition and the launch of a publication in summer 2018. Reflecting the history of a place where ‘stuff gets made’, the project will celebrate both traditional and experimental production methods. The final works will be accompanied by writing from local poets, writers, journalists, academics and musicians, alongside contributions from members of the public.

To see the work in progress, check out #TheseNorthernTypes on Twitter and Instagram or visit the These Northern Types website.