National Railway Museum steams ahead with Thompson Brand Partners identity

Thompson Brand Partners has created a new identity the National Railway Museum in York which aims to ‘connect generations’ through the story of railways.


Appointed on credentials through a tender process, the Leeds-based consultancy looked to find a solution that would appeal to frequent visitors and attract new ones.

The museum claims to be the largest railway museum in the world, attracting almost 1 million visitors a year to its York and Shildon sites. It is part of the National Museum of Science & Industry family, which includes the Science Museum.

The new identity, with its marque of two parallel lines, is based on angled slashes found in the iconography and architecture of railway throughout history, according to Thompson Brand Partners managing director Nick Ramshaw. 

‘It is synonymous with many forms of railway heritage and it’s inspired by many occasions,’ says Ramshaw. 

Ramshaw says the consultancy wanted the identity to suggest ‘speed and momentum’ – something that is indicated through some of the long-exposure brand photography. The museum’s library has been used to source these images.

A complete roll-out will now be implemented over the next year as signage, uniforms, literature and a new website are brought into line with new brand guidelines.

Hide Comments (7)Show Comments (7)
  • Tony November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Just nothing… so painfully uninspiring. Not particularly bad, not particularly good, like a concept on the edge of a mood-board that you would never go for, but was just there to bulk up the concepts. Yeah I get the lines, symbolising movement and all that, coupled with some poor photography, some colour options – tick, off the peg “modern” font – tick… Exactly what I would expect from a client like NRM really. At least the work was kept north though which would have been a hidden prerequisite no doubt, you get what you pay for, and I’d bet my house that they didn’t pay much.

  • david moody November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I cannot believe that it took an agency to come up with the concept of two parallel lines as a viable idea. As the phrase goes, money for old rope.

  • david moody November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    ‘throughout history, according to Thompson Brand Parners managing director Nick Ramshaw. ‘………’Parners’, realy nead 2 oose yer spelcheck moor.

  • Jem Kargi November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i quite like it…clean, fast, suitable for use over any image. why all the harsh words about it… sometimes designers forget to keep it basic and keep it real… i think this identity has hit the nail on the head. obviously they could have come up with lots of different ways of portraying this brand but i think simplicity is the best policy.

  • Lee Redpath November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Simple, flexible concept that can work across all media. Two parallel lines to represent the train track and a nod to the Nation Rail icon. Not everything needs bell and whistles. I agree that they could have used better imagery.

  • Marcello minale November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Just another example of celebrating mediocrity! The sooner this trend is over the better!

  • Daniel Williams November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
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