Westway Trust


The Westway Trust is Liminal.

We have been working with the Westway Trust over the last eight months to help them revitalise and relaunch their organisation.


A registered charity and one of the first social enterprises in the UK, the Trust was formed out of local protest in 1971, when the A40 Westway Flyover was built leaving 23 acres of derelict land in Kensington & Chelsea which the Trust manages on behalf of the local community. Today, it is an emblem of urban regeneration; having transformed the Westway into a safe, attractive environment for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. As a self-sustaining not-for-profit organisation, everything they earn from the land is put straight back into it. The Trust offers education and training programmes and runs two popular sports and fitness facilities, as well as health and fitness services. They promote arts and culture, host entertainment and events, and provide space and development opportunities to individuals, businesses, enterprise, artists and charities.

Why rebrand?

With a new strategic vision – “Destination 2030” the aims of which is to realise the full potential of the community and transform the Westway into a top ten destination for London, SomeOne needed to help the Trust become more visible and relevant to the people it benefits. We wanted to help people understand what the Trust does and to visually tie together the various sites along the Westway. Locals confused it for a council services department and no-one understood that having a new supermarket or nightclub on the land was not the Trust ‘selling out’, but providing much needed funds for community projects. Our work also had to take into account the very different audiences from both service and cultural perspectives. Covering everything from Fives teams to anger management courses from Westbourne Grove to White City, our approach had to deliver something interesting and relevant in a personalised way.


Our Solution?

‘I have always been fascinated by the concept of ‘liminality’.’ says SomeOne co-founder and Executive Creative Director, David Law. ‘The idea that interesting things happen in borderlands, between places and in times of transition is a concept well used in narrative, from Hamlet to Breaking Bad and Vice News. It can create a great canvas for designers because it allows the unexpected to happen and creates compelling intrigue for the viewer – it is transformational. The Westway is itself a liminal space, stitching together the borough and bringing together people of all backgrounds in a really interesting and unique space – under a flyover.’

Design Director Lee Davies adds ‘To us the Westway represents something permeable – welcoming and beneficial to all. It’s all about the spaces and surfaces of the environment, literal touch points where the brand becomes solid and tangible. We really wanted to bring liminality to the identity of the Trust.’

One of the biggest issues was that all the services were ‘silo-ed’ and no-one knew what each other was doing. Being strung out geographically along the Westway created distanced communication. So, for example, a visit by Prince William to the climbing wall which would clearly have cross promotional benefits might get missed by parts of the organisation. We tightened up the Trust’s name from The Westway Development Trust (very ‘council amenities’) to the simpler Westway Trust and from there we found that the best way to herald the multiplicity of services was to incorporate them into the identity. So we created a framework of typographic surfaces, a contemporary take on playbill posters, that would act as a liminal brand world for the Trust. These surfaces would never appear flat, but always in perspective and wherever possible, integrated into photography or applied to surfaces in the environment. Now each subset of the Trust (Sports & Fitness, Learning, Presents…, Space and Futures) had it’s own glossary and language with which to communicate.

SomeOne Designer Tristan Dunbar notes that ‘By talking to the staff across the various services, we understood that it was really important to be able to ‘own’ their own part of the identity and it was our challenge to give them something flexible enough for their own needs, whilst not cannibalising the master brand.’

Language was all important too – we wanted the identity to be able to use a different tone of voice for each service. So instead of just badging, applying the brand world to merchandise and communications could be more stimulating if it used messages. This was not limited to English language either, the area is rich in diverse cultures and the brand world’s liminality allows it to cope, so the brand world can be expressed in Chinese or Swahili and it still works.

The brand is being rolled out from May and will touch every part of the Westway over time, from poster sites on the A40 to property hoardings, signage, merchandise and digital. The Trust’s site (produced by CTI Digital) is a huge exercise in pulling everything together in one place and still feeling clear and simple to the user.

Chris Humphries, The Trust’s Marketing Director, commented ‘The work that SomeOne has given us not only provides a strong strategic rudder for the Trust, but also gives us a rich and vibrant paintbox with which to herald all the wonderful opportunities that we have to offer, bringing the Trust together in ways that really help integrate us into the local community in a positive way.’