As part of the major redevelopment of Grand Central, BCSC Gold Award winner of “Centre of the Year 2015” FRA were appointed as signage and wayfinding consultants for all new static and digital signage. The joint venture scheme by Network Rail and Birmingham City Council comprises of 500 million square feet of shopping and dining including the biggest John Lewis store outside of London. The development also includes a new 477 space car park.
We developed a new wayfinding strategy and design for the newly refurbished and rebranded shopping centre working with Architects, Haskolls.
FRA directed on signage design, brand delivery and advising on digital media strategy and interface design co-ordinating brand expression across web, mobile and information touch screens as well as centre voice advertising screens working with programmers Interdirect to deliver a responsive platform.
Our wayfinding scheme links Grand Central to Birmingham New Street Station and the City, allowing the 50 million visitors a year to navigate freely with state of the art wayfinding and digital signage.
The responsive digital strategy has created a holistic approach to driving footfall to Grand Central and acts as a portal showcasing what the city of Birmingham has to offer visitors. 84,000 visitors passed through the scheme on opening day.
'I worked with FRA, in my capacity as interim Marketing & Brand Manager, for about eight months on the Grand Central project, a Birmingham located shopping destination. There were a number of challenges involved, aside from pure design, and in all cases FRA rose to the occasion. For no fault of anybody's, immediately prior to my involvement the agency had been working on their brief, which was to develop wayfinding and digital assets including a website, without a specialist marketing contact at the client. Of course the eventual deadline for opening our centre did not move and thus Fran’s team had to exercise considerable initiative to make sure things continued to move forwards. Without this we would potentially have lost a lot of ground that might have been hard to make up.
Once acting as a team, we were able together to ensure that Grand Central's eventual website and digital wayfinding both reflected the essence of the brand, which is to act as a meeting place and showcase for the great city of Birmingham. FRA showed great expertise plus the ability to work both closely with us and also independently of day-to-day control, as required, which was vital with an enormous amount of other work going on and a very limited team and budget.'
Danny Herbert, Marketing & Brand Manager