Good to see Manchester turning to one of its true creative heroes, Peter Saville, to create a marketing campaign Mancunians can get behind. It’s a scary thing. Some of us remember the summer of 1997, when a quango headed up by failed Tory MP Sir David Trippier, came up with the slogan, We’re Up and Going (to hide under a rock, presumably).
Saville’s appointment as the city’s creative director coincided with a major retrospective of his work at Urbis (here’s the archive), the museum of urban culture and the city. He’s distilled Manchester down to two words, ‘original-modern’ and the more you consider them, the more fitting they are. As the place the industrial revolution began, Manchester is the original modern city and it remains the prime example of all the good stuff a city has to offer.
But, as ever with this city, it’s all about looking forward and playing up to innovation and creativity. Physical change is so constant that the Ordnance Survey has difficulty keeping its maps up to date and as Britain’s population ages, Manchester bucks the trend with a decline in older people. Manchester’s size ensures it’s truly cosmopolitan (with opportunities for everyone), but is not so big that new ideas are squeezed out and smothered (as can happen in the capital). All of which contributes to a vibrant creative hotspot with a sense of place that is never fixed, is always positive and is constantly stimulating.