The National Gallery is rolling out a revamped identity this week designed by BamberForsyth Fitch, as the London gallery moves to shore up its visitor base against increasing competition.
Although visitor numbers are high, The National Gallery is aware that future attendance ‘may not be quite so buoyant’ as competitors also move to improve their branding, says BamberForsyth Fitch director Clare Fuller.
The consultancy was appointed around 18 months ago to research and deliver a more ‘consistent and disciplined’ visual style. An identity system, developed in conjunction with the gallery’s in-house team, will govern all future design collateral and a single logotype replaces various marques that the gallery’s different departments used in the past.
‘The gallery wanted to ensure all its brand communications were pointing in the same direction,’ says Fuller. ‘It was very much design-your-own-logo-land before we got involved. There was no discipline over the use of the brand.’
The consultancy presented options for a ‘more contemporary face’, but the gallery settled on what BamberForsyth Fitch creative director Lee Hoddy calls an ‘understated and elegant’ design, reflecting the classic nature of the gallery and the associations of its collections of Old Masters.
The identity redesign is the first outline of a multi-million pound overhaul at the London gallery. Architect Dixon Jones has devised a £21m masterplan for the gallery’s refurbishment, including a new entrance from Trafalgar Square, the renovation of its East Wing and an expanded cafÃ© and shop, designed by Din Associates.