Digital ‘avengers’ to deliver pioneering super strategy with LEEDS 2023

Sarah Mace

LEEDS 2023 has appointed a collection of seven digital agencies, selected through a tender process, each bringing different specialisms, to design the LEEDS 2023 experience.

LEEDS 2023 will be a culturally transformational year for the city.  Brilliant design will be critical to ensure that as many people as possible from across all 33 wards, and the smaller communities, can participate in this once in a generation opportunity.

Each of the agencies has been selected to bring their distinctive skill set to the table at this crucial stage in the preparations for next year as the team approach 100 days to go. LEEDS 2023 aims to engage over 75 per cent of Leeds’ residents in the year of culture so it is imperative that content is easy to access and understand and that it provides real value to audiences.

Sarah Mace, head of experience design at LEEDS 2023 said: “Initially we were looking for fewer agencies, but we were so impressed with the response, we just had to bring all this talent to the table.

“I didn’t anticipate however that we’d end up bringing so many outstanding, predominantly northern, partners on board – I call them the avengers because they are strong independently but together, incredible!

“We want to break ground with the LEEDS 2023 digital experience, create new ways of making the gateways into arts and culture more accessible and human-centred, and each of the agencies involved are pushing us and themselves to do just that. To make the LEEDS 2023 as good as it can be, for each of our audiences.”

The digital agencies are:

  • Creode – The Leeds team of this integrated digital marketing agency has brought its copywriting and UX skills to the group, ensuring that messaging is accessible, on brand and responsive.
  • DXW – The Leeds based multidisciplinary team of digital design, technology and delivery specialists have led the discovery work, researching audiences and how to make LEEDS 2023 more inclusive of varying needs.
  • GoodCRM – Manchester based data management organisation GoodCRM are responsible for creating one place for all audience information, and providing a platform to support the fundraising team.
  • i2 Media – based at Goldsmiths University of London, the strategic research consultancy is working on practical audience insight, understanding how people will interact with immersive experiences and providing ideas to counter barriers.
  • Lucky Duck – The Leeds based design and development agency is the product team designing and building a new LEEDS 2023 website in multiple phases.
  • Nexer Digital– the Macclesfield based human centred design agency, with a focus on accessibility and inclusive design practices, is co-creating an appropriate set of principles to underpin the LEEDS 2023 experience.
  • Open Innovations (Formerly ODI Leeds) This Leeds not for profit organisation is helping publish, use and share as much data as possible about LEEDS 2023 for transparency, public good and efficiency.

Sarah Mace added: “It is inspiring to be working with all these experts to design an inclusive, extraordinary experience, I see each of them as a partner and an extension to the LEEDS 2023 team.

“We are each focussed on our shared goal of designing an experience that welcomes and embraces everyone, breaks boundaries, and helps to bring LEEDS 2023 to the widest audience possible.”

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