O Street creates unifying brands for Scottish galleries

Glasgow-based consultancy O Street is rebranding the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the newly named Scottish National Gallery (formerly the National Gallery of Scotland); as well as creating a new identity for the galleries’ umbrella organisation, the National Galleriesof Scotland.

The consultancy was initially appointed solely for the Portrait Gallery project in November 2010 following a four-way creative pitch. O Street owner David Freer says he subsequently suggested a more comprehensive rebrand would be needed to achieve consistency across the galleries.

Freer says, ’Our background thinking in the pitch pointed out that a bigger branding exercise was needed, so that it didn’t reflect poorly on the other galleries.’

O Street is creating a new logo for each of the galleries and the umbrella organisation, which will be applied across all touchpoints, including interior and exterior gallery signage, the website, marketing materials and an advertising campaign, as well as creating brand guidelines.

Freer says, ’The brand represents a wide variety of different types of art, from modern to classics, so we didn’t want to create a brand that would visually fight with the artwork. We’ve made all the logos typographic, so there’s a loose element of consistency and clarity.’

The Portrait Gallery rebrand was initiated to coincide with the redevelopment of the Edinburgh gallery building by Page Park Architects, with interiors by consultancy Studio Arc.

The logo for the Portrait Gallery can be modified to reflect the different personalities in the works by changing the word ’portrait’.

Freer adds, ’There’s a huge range of personalities, from Sir Alex Ferguson to kings from centuries ago, so you don’t want a logo that only fits one. It’s a simple trick, but just changing the face of “portrait” gives it flexibility, though the main lock-up’s quite rigid and recognisable.’

Patricia Convery, National Galleries of Scotland head of marketing, says, ’We were looking for a brand new identity for the refurbished and revitalised Scottish National Portrait Gallery and for one that reflected the diversity and broad range of artwork on display from portraiture from the 16th century right up to contemporary photography.’

The National Galleries of Scotland logo uses a frame device, referencing the framed artworks and the Scottish flag. The ’quirky’ Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art logo vertically aligns the ’o’s of the name. Freer says, ’The logo uses a traditional approach, but with a slight shift of reality, representing the collection. There’s that element of surprise.’


  • It is expected that the National Galleries of Scotland branding will fully launch in the next couple of weeks across all materials
  • The branding for the Modern Art gallery will be applied on signage and other touchpoints at the end of July
  • O Street’s brand guidelines will be used to inform the website, which will fully relaunch to coincide with the opening of the Portrait Gallery in September this year
Start the discussionStart the discussion
  • Post a comment

Latest articles