Red Or Dead designer Wayne Hemingway is being brought in to help rebrand York.

City of York Council and destination management organisation Make It York confirmed designer Wayne Hemingway from Hemingway Design is one of the team looking to give the city image a £660,000 makeover.

He came to international prominence thanks to the Red Or Dead fashion brand he founded in 1983.

Also hired are “place based branding expert” Martin Boisen from company For the Love of Place. He is credited for a rebrand of Amsterdam.

Mr Boisen, whose company offers place branding and marketing, has also worked on projects in Oslo and Utrect.

A third key player is consultant Alex Saint from Creative Tourist, to help market the city.

Residents can be involved

Martin Boisen from For The Love Of Place. Photograph: Martin Boisen on Twitter
A spokeswoman for Make It York said the team will “deliver a piece of work that will shape how York develops and markets itself on an international stage”.

She added that organisations and residents across York will be encouraged to share their views on how the city is perceived.


The plans aim to increase investment, attract visitors and engage residents.

In January, West Yorkshire Combined Authority committed more than half a million pounds to developing a brand for York.

Funding of £660,000 was approved to “develop a shared narrative” for the city and a report said the cash could be spent on “3D visualisations of key developments” and “immersive technology”.

Consistent messages

Head of Make It York… Sean Bullick
Sean Bullick, the new managing director of Make It York, said he is fully behind proposals to rebrand the city.

He said:

  • York, already a fantastic city, is primed to make a huge leap forward over the next few years with transformational capital schemes like York Central and the Castle Gateway redevelopment, and an ever-broadening tourism appeal.

    This important project, working with world-leading place based brand experts, will ensure that we can provide investors, professionals, academics and visitors, who will be central to the city’s future success, with consistent messages about York and what it has to offer.

    That, and benefitting from our 200,000 residents as ambassadors for York, will be key to our joint future economic prosperity.

Online shopping study

Company Creative Tourist, which has previously worked tourism brands in Manchester, Bristol and Bath, will also be involved in the project.

A report prepared for West Yorkshire Combined Authority about plans to rebrand the city said the project will include a study on the impact of online shopping and look at the future of out-of-town retail parks.

It said the goals of the scheme are to create “a shared brand and approach with significant buy in from York stakeholders, an immersive technology model of key sites including Castle Gateway, York Central and the city centre, and a study considering the longer term impacts of changes in retailing”.

City of York Council was not able to give any further details about the rebranding proposals and what they will involve at this stage.