This month, meet Richard Fowler...

Richard is owner and Creative Director of Twentyseven Brand & Design. Richard and his team have worked closely with us from conception of the project to develop our brand, including: our marketing collateral, Graft & Glory exhibition, heritage interpretation within the building, and more recently our #CommonGood campaign.

Tell us a little bit about you and your journey to setting up Twentyseven Brand & Design.

Many years ago (too many!) I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire. Clutching my degree in Graphic Design, I moved to London where I was employed by several design agencies working on projects from whiskey packaging to visual identities for large PLCs. After 10 years, I felt the pull of home; once back in the North East, I joined a Newcastle based agency and worked my way up to Creative Director, delivering projects for both the public and private sector. After 6 years I decided to set up my own agency, that was almost 14 years ago! It’s been an exhilarating and fast paced journey, I’ve had the pleasure of working on some great projects with some really inspirational people.

The Common Room is such a big project, how did you know where to start? What was your approach?

It started with an awful lot of research and several site visits!
We implemented our tried and tested working methodology, which allowed us to crystallise the initial brief, and engage with the The Common Room’s stakeholders, capturing all thoughts and ideas of what we were trying to create. Using this information we were able to develop a ‘brand articulation’ – which is a sort of concise description of how The Common Room wanted to be perceived and positioned in the future. This formed the basis of our creative brief.

Photo of Richard Fowler

What excited you most about getting involved in The Common Room project?

The project is exciting on so many levels. Firstly: the incredible Gothic building with it’s amazing heritage and past influence hiding in plain sight, right bang in the middle of Newcastle. It’s still revealing secrets as the project progresses, I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before!
Secondly: with the opportunities the building will afford to so many different communities, such as Ted talks, business conferences, educational programmes and community initiatives, The Common Room will again be a truly influential force in the North. And let’s not forget the super cool cafe bar!

What part of the work have you enjoyed the most so far, and which other aspects of the project would you love to have the opportunity to explore?

It’s been great fun working as part of a larger team that includes architects, historians, videographers, builders and the Mining Institute to help shape, in some small part, what the The Common Room will become. I would love to develop a comprehensive campaign that tells the story of the industrial heritage, which this building was central to, to help position the North East as a force of creativity for the next wave of industrial innovation.

What are your hopes for The Common Room?

I hope The Common Room will become an inspirational symbol of industrial innovation and creativity for the North East.

We continue to enjoy a successful working relationship with Richard and his team; if you are yet to see some of the amazing work Twentyseven Brand & Design have done with The Common Room, why not take a peek at the Wedding and Conference brochures here on our website?