An iconic brand with open arms.

St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral is the oldest Christian site in Britain and the burial site of Alban, the first-recorded British Christian martyr. Alban was an ordinary man who performed an extraordinary act of kindness and faith in the early third century.

St Albans West End at Dusk

The inspiration

While we wanted to celebrate this important historical icon, the brand identity needed to also reflect the Cathedral as a contemporary place of worship and belonging. We spoke to more than forty members of the Cathedral’s community – from the Dean to the caretaker – to find out what makes St Albans special. It quickly became clear that it meant many things to many people, and was so much more than a beautiful building.

‘This place has open arms – it’s famously inclusive.’

‘It’s alive – it embraces you.’

‘It’s warm and welcoming.’

‘There’s a genuine sense of community.’

‘It’s very much about people – a living breathing place.’

‘This is a holy place – it’s about worshipping God.’

‘It must be about Alban – he is a real (iconic) figure.’

St Albans Cross

The idea

The St Albans cross formed the heart of the Cathedral’s new identity, appearing as an ancient symbol for modern times. The universal human figure can also be found contained within the identity: a living figure representing the many and diverse voices of the Christian community – with open arms that welcome everyone into the Cathedral.

St Albans Cathedral brand identity
St Albans Cathedral brand icon
St Albans Cathedral branding
St Albans Cathedral branding
St Albans Cathedral branding
St Albans Cathedral branding

‘It is a warm, embracing symbol. People come here with their griefs and joys because they feel a warm and loving presence, even if they can’t explain why.’

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean, St Albans Cathedral

Cathedral brand messaging
St Albans Cathedral brand messaging

Using the brand icon within words creates a useful vehicle to deliver key messages across all communications – including social media.

St Albans Cathedral social media content
St Albans Cathedral social media content

The brand icon can also be utilised purely within graphics to deliver messages visually – for events and seasonal activity.

Furthermore, the brand icon plays a central role in books, bibles, printed literature, posters and sub-branding for a range of Cathedral Trusts and Foundations.

St Albans Cathedral branded bible
St Albans Cathedral branded bible
St Albans Cathedral printed literature
St Albans Cathedral sub branding
St Albans Cathedral sub branding

The brand identity comes to life in environmental graphics, way finding and interpretation signage.

St Albans Cathedral interpretation signage
St Albans Cathedral interpretation signage
St Albans Cathedral interpretation signage

‘Icons and symbols play a large role in the life of faith because we deal in so much that can’t easily be put into words. Our new icon conveys a remarkable amount in the simplest possible design.’

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean, St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Annual Report 2019
St Albans Cathedral environment