Northern Stage — The Brief

Northern Stage are the biggest theatre and producing company in North East England and one of the top eleven in the Country. Their building is situated on the main Newcastle University campus and dates back to 1970.  Formerly Newcastle Playhouse, they re-opened 10 years ago as Northern Stage.

Mosedale Gillatt Architects have been re-working the lower ground floor Stage 3 creating a new contemporary space upgraded for audiences and performers with improved access to toilets, social spaces and exhibition area.  The need to direct around the reconfigured space has also presented the opportunity to give wayfinding and associated signage within the building proper consideration for the first time.  Picto have been working with Mosedale Gillatt and Northern Stage developing a coherent scheme, the first phase of which is due to be completed in time for their official launch event on 10th November.


As with many occupied buildings, we have had to work with a variety of backdrops.  Stage 3 has a well-considered palette of materials and colours.  Other areas of the building are dark natural brick or glazing with varying ceiling heights and limited places to site signage.

The building operates differently during the day and in the evening, with the new wayfinding needing to cover both eventualities.

Some of the routes are quite complicated.  There are three lifts, all going to disparate parts of the building and stopping on different levels.

As always our approach is less is more, locating information only where needed and keeping the content to a minimum.

Images from our site survey | Oct 2016

Establishing the principles of the new scheme

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