The SSE Arena
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Exhibit Design Ltd.

Client: SSE Airtricity & The Odyssey Arena, Belfast

Rebranding the Odyssey Arena to the SSE Arena was a hugely collaborative project and an excellent learning experience. At this point of my career, it was probably one of the biggest and most challenges I had worked on.

Challenge

The SSE Arena identity was created by Elmwood, a London-based design agency. It is based on the existing SSE Airtricity identity and forms part of SSE's entertainment venue family alongside The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and The SSE Arena in Wembley.

The main aim was to create a brand experience that would resonate with fans and performers alike, and  reflect all of SSE Airtricity's core values. 

Overview

Exhibit’s design team worked closely with SSE's in-house designers and the Odyssey Arena management team to develop this new brand identity and apply it throughout the extensive venue. Branded areas include the exterior, reception, merchandise area, concourse, venue bowl, corporate boxes and VIP lounge.

My Role:

Brand Development, Wayfinding, Artworking & Print Management

Collaboration:

Exhibit Design:

Project Management by Martin O'Brien & Brendan O'Sullivan

Interior & 3D Design by Richard Barnwall & Sean Niermeyer

Graphic Design by Yvonne Keogh

Artwork Production & Installation by Alexander Boyd Displays

Identity Design by Elmwood

Venue Branding

Myself and fellow graphic designer Yvonne Keogh created and managed artwork production for large-scale exterior and interior signage, entrance banners, point-of-sale and branding for all the retail units and food stalls, branding for the concourse walls and the seating area.

Visual Language

We took the rounded rectangle shapes in the logo and used them as a framing device for photography - creating dynamic and strong visuals for the wall graphics.

Wayfinding

We developed extensive wayfinding for the different levels, doors, seats, stairs, lifts and stalls across the entire building. I designed a series of safety venue maps featuring a simple map and icon set that were placed strategically around the venue. 

SSE Rewards Lounge

The Exhibit Design team also oversaw the interior design and branding of the SSE Rewards Lounge. It was a great space to work with because it has a huge mirrored window with an excellent view of Belfast. The interior designers created a modern, bright space that celebrates the industrial aspects of the architecture. The visual elements of the lounge are a subtle nod to the SSE brand and compliment the minimal interior finishes.