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City of York Council

Brand strategy & identity to market 600 pioneering homes

Cover Image for City of York Council

City of York Council has embarked on its largest housing build project since 1971 with plans to build 600 homes over 8 developments. This ambitious plan aims to raise the standard of new build homes with Passivhaus design that focuses on creating sustainable communities. With such a bold vision, we were tasked with disrupting the market by creating an unexpected brand.


From competitor and market analysis, we determined there was a gap for a contemporary brand that appealed to first-time buyers, home movers and empty nesters alike.

Following extensive research with property seekers and stakeholders, we created Shape Homes York, a brand centred around a flexible identity that changes to represent the architecture of each development.


Shape Homes York is backed by a strategic vision to be innovative and lead the way in the city’s property market. The brand is not a housing developer. It is a developer of communities with people at their heart. It is distinctly different, questioning the convention of traditional house building; addressing climate change, optimising space and using ground-breaking design and building techniques to create a place that people want to call home.

A witty tone for sustainable messaging aims to question behaviour on travel, nudging people to make a more environmental choice where possible, combined with natural textures and fluorescent green colours as the antidote to big PLC developers.


The website was designed to lead with development images accompanied by property information to tempt buyers. Functionality includes an interactive site plan, online registration and mortgage affordability calculator.


“The Housing Delivery Team at York worked with EXP to create and deliver a new brand to support our 600 market sale and shared ownership homes. The whole team at EXP were positive, supportive and professional throughout and we are really pleased with the final product.”

Michael Jones
Head of Housing Delivery & Asset Management 

Project Info

EXP Team

Darren Dedrie
Emma Kidd
Tom Grattan
Daniel Wallace


Brand Identity & Assets
Brand Naming
Brand Strategy
Brand Positioning
Customer Journey
Social Media
User Experience Design
Website Design



Mikhail Riches



Website CMS


More work

Got a project in mind? Let’s talk.

Got a brand or digital project in mind? We’d love to chat about how we can help you.

Tom Grattan

+44 (0)1524 388104