Rada aims for consistency in brand review

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts is to embark on its firstever rebranding exercise, with the help of consultancies 300million and Jane Wentworth Associates. The organisation has not reviewed its identity, strategy and positioning since its inception in 1904.

300million was invited to pitch for the rebrand, having previously worked on prospectus and fundraising literature projects for Rada. ‘We suggested a number of times that they go back to basics with the brand. With the projects we worked on, we tried to bring consistency, but there was no guidance on colour or font usage, which really meant they had to look at the longer-term needs of the brand,’ explains 300million managing director Nigel Davies. ‘Although Rada sees itself as a world leader for dramatic arts education, how it projects itself visually is not really aligned with how it is perceived. This project will explore what that reputation means,’ Davies adds.

The 300million team, working in conjunction with strategic branding consultancy for the arts JWA, won a threeway credentials pitch earlier this month.

The scope of the project includes an internal and external brand strategy review, to be led by JWA, while creative work, led by 300million, is expected to begin in January. The work will include an overhaul of the existing identity and brand style, as well as brand guidelines and website (www.rada.org.uk), anticipated to launch in April 2008.

The refresh is also intended to signal a number of recent changes and appointments throughout the organisation. Former chief executive of National Endowment for Science and the Arts Technology Jeremy Newton took up the role of managing director in May this year, while theatre director and dramatistEdward Kemp joined as artistic director last month. The strengthened management team will be complemented by a refurbished training facility, Nicolas Cooper House in London, which is due to open on 6 November.

1904 Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree establishes an Academy of Dramatic Art at His Majesty’s Theatre in the Haymarket
1920 The Academy is granted its Royal Charter
1950 George Bernard Shaw dies, leaving one third of hisroyalties to Rada
1996 Rada receives a £22.7m grant from the Arts Council National Lottery Board towards redeveloping its headquarters
2001 Rada, with the London Contemporary Dance School, becomes one of the two founding affiliates of the UK’s first higher education Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
2001 Rada courses are validated by King’s College London
2003 Lord Attenborough becomes president of Rada
2007 Jeremy Newton becomes Rada’s managing director, Edward Kemp becomes artistic director Rada’s alumni include actors Michael Caine, Joan Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Jane Horrocks, John Hurt, Clive Owen and Diana Rigg

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