ILKON. Ilkeston Contemporary Arts

Brand Identity Design Built

Professional Category

Studio: Pinter- Parrott

Architect / Designer: Susanne Pinter and Francesca Pinter- Parrott

Design Team:

Susanne Pinter
Francesca Pinter- Parrott

Country: United Kingdom

Copyright: Lee Ballard

Our Client is an established Architect with a large contemporary art collection who has bought, repaired and converted a disused 1936 Methodist Church into a vibrant community arts venue. The area and region is one of the most deprived in the country due to loss of industry and opportunity which poses particular obstacles to engaging in the arts. Our client however had a fantastic free education at Ilkeston Grammar School which enabled him to study at Leicester School of Architecture . The desire to do something to spread the hope, optimism and encouragement which he received from inspirational teachers to the new generation in the community has led to the establishment of Ilkeston Contemporary Arts and the reactivation of a beautiful but neglected historic building incorporating sustainable green technologies. The organisation is established in 5 “Boards”. Art, Film, Music, Theatre and Events. Each with a specialist expert Chair responsible for establishing an engaging programme in their own field. In addition there is a manager of both the café and the shop. It was important to the Client that the branding was developed to distinguish these activities so that each can apply for funding and grants without compromising or competing with the others. His brief to us was to help make contemporary art relevant and exciting in this challenging environment using the website to engage and social media to promote. The architecture, the arts programme and the branding all had to work together. The first step was to establish a name around which the branding strategy could develop. The communications need to suit an inclusive diverse audience many of which have not been engaged in the world of contemporary art previously. The project title Ilkeston Contemporary Arts was too long and snappier abbreviations such as iCon, Ikon, i-KON all seemed too generic or forced. Through literary research we discovered that Ilkon was an old English word meaning “all men or everyone” and was used by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Second Nun’s Tale about the life of Saint Cecilia. By coincidence Cecilia is depicted in one of the beautiful stained glass windows in the church. This became the basis of the branding strategy drawing on the iconography but interpreted in a contemporary way fitting with the project aims and building on an inclusive and cohesive theme. For the logo the head and shoulders of Saint Cecilia are incorporated into the O of “ILKON”. This is then developed across the whole branding strategy to include the whole of the body on ‘t’ shirts and aprons for café and colleagues. The typical dictionary description appearance, which many are familiar with, enables the individual “Boards” ;- Art, Film, Music, Theatre and Event to be identified using italics in a unique colour which is carried through to the business cards, letterhead and website. The 5 “Boards” have linked colours of greys whilst the shop and café are more colourful. This runs through to the website where monotone images turn to colour in an engaging and intriguing


Pinter- Parrott LogoPinter- Parrott

Pinter-Parrott is a new studio combining the talents of Susanne Pinter and Francesca Pinter-Parrott. Susanne was art director at Vogue Promotions and London Portrait Magazine before establishing Incahoots New Media. Francesca studied English at Oxford University and has now established herself as a successful Graphic Artist and Package Designer based in L.A. Their work for ILKON shows the studio’s capacity for taking a complex brief and developing a sophisticated brand identity to unify all aspects of a vibrant community venture. The brand works at all levels from the web and social media through to letterhead and way-finding.