Womanchester Statue Project

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Out of the 17 public statues in Manchester, only one is of a woman. This disappointing (but utterly unsurprising) fact is at the heart of the Womanchester Statue Project, a campaign to raise money for a new statue of a woman significant to Manchester.

We were approached by city councillor Andrew Simcock to brand the campaign and create its online presence with help from our friends, OH Digital.  We work with a number of charities and wanted to bring our expertise to a cause we felt passionate about so two of our designers, Laura & Ellie, took this on as a personal project and spent time researching the women, imagery and creating hand-type.

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We looked to hand painted placards, protest and the suffragist movement for our creative inspiration. The campaign lends itself to a radical visual style – enabling the people of Manchester to vote for and fund a new monument is a radical idea in itself. But we were conscious that the project needs to be inclusive; although many of the women on the project’s longlist were suffragists, activists and campaigners, there are also philanthropists, arts patrons and sportswomen. We designed an individual identity for each woman on the list, with hand-painted lettering and an icon that reflects her own unique story.

The timeline for the project is long and surprisingly complex – first the longlist is compiled, then fundraising begins, then it will be narrowed down to a shortlist and public voting will begin, all long before the statue is installed in time for International Women’s Day 2019. We needed to explain this process quickly and succinctly, and design a website that could handle several different calls to action. We also made everything as shareable as possible, providing opportunities for users to show their support for their favourite woman on social media and remain engaged with the process over the next four years.

You can’t measure a city’s equality by its statues – and one monument will not change the very real issues of inequality that still affect women today. But by shining a light on the amazing women in Manchester’s history who have so often been forgotten, we can create a real feeling that we are a city changing for the better.

The campaign website launches today and we’re excited to be a part of it. Check out the longlist, decide who you’re supporting and donate here womanchesterstatue.org

An interview with Andrew talking about the project can be found here

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