Leeds College of Art alumni collaborate for Leeds Bid 2023

Here at the College we love the new branding and typeface commissioned for Leeds’ bid for the European Capital of Culture title in 2023 and are proud to support the campaign which will officially launch in February 2017.

The branding, launched this week, was created by independent brand specialist and Leeds College of Art alumnus Lee Goater, who brought together a team including fellow alumni Hungry Sandwich Club, and recent BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate Alex Finney.

Lee Goater Leeds 2023 gif

Lee studied for a BTEC in Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art from 1993-94. He remembers his time at the College as “the first time I had any love for education. It felt like I was doing things I was interested in and not being forced to study subjects I wasn’t very good at.

After College Lee moved to Manchester to continue his education before moving to London to kick start a successful career in design. Seven years of working with agencies in London gave Lee a solid understanding of creating brands before he returned to Leeds to start a family, whilst continuing to work for design agencies here in the city.

Lee GoaterImage: Lee Goater, photograph by Richard Moran

Then six years ago he decided to set up on his own, focusing his work on arts and education clients.  In 2013 he produced his first exhibition ‘Faces’ at the Gallery, Munro House. The following year he collaborated with Hey to develop the exhibition for Mitte in Barcelona. Since then work has been busy; Lee has continued to produce exhibitions in Leeds, is a regular contributor to Leeds Print Festival and has delivered talks and tutorials to BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Leeds College of Art.  

Lx FacesImage: Faces Lx, Lee Goater. Photograph by Mezz Davies

We caught up with Lee to find out more about his work for the 2023 bid.

“As a regular supporter, investor and contributor to the Leeds cultural scene and having grown up in the City it was a really exciting, all be it scary project to go for. I was one of over 50 organisations that submitted to an open tender with 500 words about why I felt I was relevant to the project. Following that six agencies were invited to produce a creative pitch for the 2023 steering committee to judge. Working with Alex Finney, recent Leeds College of Art graduate, and with support from creative partners HeadOfffice, we developed two creative concepts for the pitch. Myself and another agency were asked to produce additional creative and develop the concepts. At this point we brought in the Hungry Sandwich Club to help bring the concept to life through animation.

We successfully won the pitch and were asked to work with a type foundry to develop the conceptual typeface to ensure we create a typeface that is experimental yet accessible to as many people as possible. At this point we brought in Dalton Maag, leading international type foundry to help us realise the full potential. Over an intense few months of testing and development we arrived at the final solution”

07 Leeds2023 Leegoater

The Leeds 2023 typeface will become an open source font, presenting new opportunities for the bid to connect with a range of different audiences and challenging the city’s design community to craft a new story around the city’s cultural offerings, and Lee is looking forward to seeing how different people will use it.

For Lee, the main ambition for now is for Leeds to win the bid and become the European Capital of Culture in 2023. As proud supporters of the bid, we couldn’t agree more!




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