John Rylands Library

Women who shaped Manchester: Exhibition brand identity and implementation

The University of Manchester is a truly global institution, with a reputation for education and innovation that resonates across the world. International businesses, charities, governments and universities turn to Manchester for their expertise. Whether it’s leading the European renaissance in industrial biotechnology or helping to train midwives in developing countries, the university provides the spark for positive change.


Concept development

Illustration Exhibition design



The Challenge

A unique and compelling identity was required for this insightful exhibition held at Manchester’s beautiful John Rylands Library. The identity needed to work across a range of channels, including outdoor banners, advertisements, information displays within the exhibition and of course, social media.

The Solution

The team developed a silhouette composed of imagery of women who shaped Manchester over the centuries. The exhibition focused on early 20th century women who have made an impact on Manchester. There were five women in particular. Emeline Pankhurst, Catherine Chisholm, Mabel Tyelecote, Madeline Linford and Annie Horniman. However, the curators didn’t want to focus on these individuals, instead creating a vehicle for showcasing how women have made an impact on the areas covered in the exhibition. The client wanted a more disarming, more surprising visual, so that only once in the exhibition, you understand the full story of these women and what they achieved.

The Result

The Women Who Shaped Manchester exhibition received more user generated content (UGC) on social media than any other Rylands exhibition in recent years. A significant number of visitors took “selfies” with the woman silhouette, driving high levels of visitor engagement online. Recent survey statistics show an increase in visitors attending specifically to see the exhibition of 5% compared to the previous installation. Caroline Boyd, Marketing Officer said, “Neville and the team were easy to work with every step of the way. They understood how universities work and turned around a creative compelling design which has hugely benefitted our promotions on social media, and it was all delivered in a timely way and made for a very smooth process.”

No items found.