New design partnership celebrates 200 years of our University

Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) with the The Sculpts Bicentenary design
Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) with the The Sculpts Bicentenary design
200 years of The University of Manchester’s world-class education, research and incredible people have been brought to life in an exclusive design partnership with Manchester-based designers The Sculpts , celebrating the University’s bicentenary.

Since 1824, our University has been spearheading change, addressing the planet’s greatest challenges and making a difference in the city of Manchester, the nation and beyond. The Sculpt’s stunning pen and ink design brings this rich history to life illustrating some of the University’s most distinguished alumni and staff, iconic architecture, and several of its most important innovations and discoveries. The design is the latest in a series of individual artistic collaborations between the Manchester-based brand, and the city’s cultural institutions.

The bicentennial design includes illustrations of Christabel Pankhurst, suffragette and alumna; Alan Turing, mathematician and computer scientist; Arthur Lewis, economist and Nobel Laureate; components of the Manchester Baby, the first electronic stored-program computer; botanical illustrations from the Manchester Museum Herbarium Archives; the Sackville Street Building, home of Manchester College of Technology and UMIST; the atomic structure of Graphene; the Lovell telescope; early medical instruments; and the iconic ’Manchester bee’.

The University’s bicentennial design sits alongside The Sculpts’ iconic range of handmade ceramic ’Manchester’ tiles. Each 6x6-inch tile is one letter of the alphabet illustrated to depict a different stage in Manchester’s transformation - from post-industrial depression to a technological and cultural force to be reckoned with.

Jade King, Director of The Sculpts says: "We’re delighted to be working with The University of Manchester to celebrate its birthday. For 200 years, the University has been a worldleader in its field: pioneering, innovating, and discovering. We jumped at the chance to be a part of recognising the contribution the University has made to this city and the world, in a beautiful design that brings the University’s history alive."

It has been fabulous to collaborate with such a distinctive and iconic Manchester brand to celebrate our 200th year. The design is so intricate and encapsulates our University’s history and heritage, alongside some of our more recent discoveries and our links across the city region, in a really delightful way.

Previous collaborations for The Sculpts have included Manchester Museum - for whom the designers created a bespoke range of their iconic ’alphabet’ illustrations, the Whitworth gallery and Stock Exchange Hotel. Visit for more information.