The new branding, from Edit Brand Studio and brand strategists Boardroom Consulting, aims to celebrate the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection, and nod to its heritage, as well as motifs found within its refurbished building. It has launched across the gallery’s digital channels and website, where its exhibition programmes for 2023-4 have been announced.
The design features bold photography of the collection alongside clean and simple use of typography. It joins a current trend within museum and arts branding for a stripped-back, modern approach which aims to attract new audiences and throw off any stuffy associations of the past.
A new symbol for the gallery has been created which is based on an original sketch by its first director, Sir George Scharf, who entwined and encircled ‘NPG’ in a workbook, dated 1893. Discovered in the archive, this sketch has been transformed by the illustrator and typographer, Peter Horridge, known for his logos and crests for everyone from the Royal Household and King Charles III to Liverpool Football Club.
The new logo joins other uses of the initials NPG throughout the gallery’s building, within the metalwork of railings, embossed onto furniture, and as part of original mosaics.
Monotype has created a bespoke typeface, NPG Serif, which is also rooted in historic font references found in and around the gallery, and a fresh colour palette has been devised, again inspired by paint and materials in the building and archive.
“Putting the vast, magnificent and diverse collection front and centre, we’ve created a brand that can flex and mean lots of different things to lots of different people, whilst still feeling part of a strong, distinctive, unified whole,” says Karen Hughes, creative director at Edit Brand Studio.