Built over 800 years ago as a Cistercian monastery, Kirkstall Abbey is a modern-day visitor attraction and scheduled ancient monument. The Abbey is set within a picturesque park on the banks of the River Aire and is popular as a place for visitors to explore and unwind while revealing the unique history of this special site.
We were tasked to produce a brand and style guidelines for the Abbey as part of the wider Leeds Museum and Galleries group rebrand. The identity needed to reflect the rich heritage and beauty of the site, as well as communicate the contemporary role as a place for community, events, day trips and education.
We developed an identity using a traditional serifed logotype with details, forms and proportions reminiscent of monastic scripture. We combined this with a suite of tile graphics — each a contemporary recreation of the original floor tiles used in the Abbey. These graphics can be used to form motifs of countless combinations, making the brand more dynamic and constantly evolving. We believe that by using original elements from the fabric of the building, we are helping to tell the history of this site and keep this part of its character alive.