The North East of England is an area which is widely credited as being a hotspot for culture and impressive architecture, and is what gives our area a personality like no other. A vital part of this North East persona is the sheer amount of iconic and traditional signage that is dotted around the area and with the building signage industry having grown into a $37.5 billion enterprise, the signs we see across the area have become part of the landscape and act as landmarks for residents and travelers alike.
Dating back to around 3000 BC, signage has always been used to market a product, business or to direct an audience a certain way but is now dual purposed. Signage is an idea which can sum up the spirit of an entire area and act as a primary factor in the design of a city.
With this being said, this is our picks for the most iconic bits of North East signage
The Tyne bridge during great north run season
Whether you are a Newcastle native or simply visiting us during this time of year, we bet that the Great North Run lettering is one of the first things to catch your eye. It perfectly showcases how important the half-marathon is to the people of the North East and highlights the grandeur of the Tyne bridge perfectly.
The signage is enormous and keeps the notion of a city wide event close to the peoples hearts and minds as you walk along the quayside cheering on the participants. When the red arrows fly over those participating in the race, it grants a clear feeling of pride for those racing and provides viewers with a view which is nothing short of a cinematic backdrop.
The distinguishable blue and yellow logo of Greggs is a sign you will see frequently while walking through the North East, and with Over 25 Greggs stores situated inside the city, there is very little surprise that this is the case.
There is not much more famous around the North East than a classic Greggs sausage roll, and if you walk down Northumberland street or grey street you are bound to see a number of people from toddlers to pensioners grasping tightly onto one of these golden wonders. Walking around the main streets of Newcastle and not seeing the famous four yellow squares on a blue background would feel wrong proving that the bakery has become embedded into North East culture and the city simply would not feel the same without them.
Famous for its yearly themed Christmas window, the native clothing department store is one of the city’s longest running traders, dating back to 1882. The green themed lettering overlooking Northumberland street is a well known bit of signage to all Newcastle residents and provides that feeling of identity during Christmas where you will see large ques of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the expertly crafted animatronics which partners perfectly with the market stalls dotted around nearby.
The green neon is one of the most iconic sights in Newcastle and was praised as being one of the first establishments to use rich illustrations in its advertisements, and is a trait which has carried on throughout the generations as this particular bit of signage has always been one of the first things you see while walking down Newcastle’s busiest street.
Acting as possibly the most iconic bit of signage in the area, Metro’s bright yellow background with bold black lettering is your sign that you are in the North East of England.
With 60 stations dotted around the area, there is no surprise that this is one of the logos you will see most frequently, coming second only to Newcastle United’s club crest.
The metro signage is planted into Newcastle culture and has become much more than simply a travel option for visitors and residents, but is now a staple of identity for the North East as many stations act as clear landmarks, pointing out significant parts of Sunderland, Newcastle and our gorgeous coastlines. Even our late Monarch Elizabeth the 2nd has journeyed on the South Hylton line and arrived at Fellgate station.
Grey street is possibly the most famous street in Newcastle and definitely the most aesthetic. The street sign, decorated with the city’s coat of arms is placed perfectly and allows you to see the arching road bending towards the bustling quayside.
The sign marks the start of a walk which will see you pass many tasty restaurants and busy bars as well as Newcastle’s famous theatre royal which embodies the Georgian style of the winding street, providing evidence as to why it has been named the 12th most instagrammed street in the UK.
The Baltic Centre for contemporary art is one of Gateshead’s biggest landmarks and one of the most impressive buildings the area has to offer. Originally opening as a working flour mill in 1950, in 1994 work began to convert the building to give off a feeling of regeneration with the sage and millennium bridge also being part of this new endeavor.
Overlooking the quayside, the Baltic has become a vital part of the landscape and identity of the river banks of Newcastle and Gateshead. The signage stating Baltic flour mills is a huge reminder of where you are when looking down the Tyne and its many bridges, helping to hold an important feeling of history to the industrial jungle which once was the quayside.
Here at Jonsigns, we pride ourselves on becoming a part of this culture across the North East and strive for that satisfaction of seeing our signage sprawled across the city and its landscapes. It is the iconic signage like the ones mentioned above which inspire us with our work and grants us this feeling of identity in Newcastle upon Tyne.
View our portfolio and see for yourself how we have been making a mark on our surrounding area.