OnFire create a loftier future for an iconic Leeds building

One of Leeds city centre’s most iconic buildings, Crispin House, has been given an OnFire rebrand – and we’re already looking forward to seeing its transformation.

Standing at the junction of North Street and New York Road, the grade-two listed building enjoys a prominent and high-profile position in Leeds city centre’s Northern Quarter.
The building has stood empty in recent years before being acquired by Rushbond Group which is now transforming it into 82 New York style loft style apartments, a retail unit and a gym.
The Leeds based developer has set OnFire the task of bringing the vision to life which meant looking deep into the heritage of this famous city landmark and we took our reference from the fact that in its heyday, Crispin House was the base for another famous Leeds name, HW Poole & Sons Boot and Shoe Manufacturers, employing many people from the local area. Crispin House will now be known as Crispin Lofts and in terms of the logo, there’s a nod to the past, present, future and the kind of lifestyle being created at the new development.
Here at OnFire we knew the logo had to be illustrated to such a standard as to not only do the history justice but also the character of the building. That’s why we hired the extremely skilled hand of Peter Horridge, world famous calligrapher, typographer and illustrator. Horridge’s brief was to include the renowned dome, to include a tree-lined boulevard envisioned for the future and to imbue a sense of Americana, whilst of course referencing the building’s shoemaking past. No easy task, but we’re delighted with the illustrator’s work and the fact that the Crispin name will live on in style.
Indeed, as Karl Lakin, our Creative Director said, “The name ‘Crispin’ comes from St. Crispin, the patron saint of shoemaking and it provided a perfect branding platform to carry on the heritage, rather than create something plastic or unreal out of nothing.”
Karl continues, “As the building is right on top of the city centre, enjoying pride of place in the Northern Quarter, the messaging, along with the visuals of stitching and footprints, about so many steps to this bar or so many steps to that museum, dovetails perfectly into the brand we have created, referencing shoemaking. Keeping that heritage alive with such an icon is important to us.”
Kevin Grady, Director of Leeds Civic Trust seems to concur with this approach, “In recent years, it’s been sad to see this tremendous building in a partly developed state. We’re absolutely delighted that Rushbond has acquired yet another key city landmark and is now returning it to its former glory with a viable use that will safeguard its future.”
Commenting on the plans, Jonathan Maud, Managing Director of Rushbond said, “Crispin Lofts is a stunning building, full of character and enjoying far-reaching views, so it offers the potential to create something very special, unlike anything Leeds has seen before.”
Everyone at OnFire is understandably delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project and looking forward to rolling the new brand out in print, online and outdoor media.