A new face for the

National Portrait Gallery


A gallery of people, for people

National Portrait Gallery tells the story of Britain through portraits, using art to bring history to life and explore living today. From local champions to global icons, national treasures to unsung heroes, the Collection is filled with the surprising and inspiring stories that have shaped, and continue to shape, a nation.
As the Gallery prepares to reopen their doors following a three year transformation project, it needed a new brand identity to help them have more presence, more reach and more relevance. Rooted in a transformative new brand strategy created in collaboration with Boardroom consulting, we are working alongside teams across the Gallery to bring the new brand to life, for more people in more ways than ever before.

Timeless and contemporary

Following audience research and an all-staff co-creation process, it was clear the solution lay in finding an exciting balance of classic and contemporary. The Gallery’s Director of Communications & Digital Denise Vogelsang explains “we wanted a brand that could sit seamlessly alongside our magnificent grade I listed building, our historic and contemporary collections as well as appeal to a diverse range of audiences, existing and new”.
Working alongside illustrator and typographer Peter Horridge and type foundry Monotype, we created a new monogram, logotype, typeface and colour palette all inspired by historic reference points found within the gallery and its extensive archives, with particular focus on an original sketch by the Gallery’s first ever director Sir George Scharf in 1893.

The power of portraiture

Portraiture holds the unique power to connect people. As the home of the world’s largest collection of portraits, the Gallery’s greatest asset is and always will be portraiture.
We needed to create a design framework that put the vast, magnificent and diverse Collection front and centre. Creating an identity that had a strong, confident presence, but that always put people first. We designed a flexible identity system to work with and around the portraits, that could be sympathetic and respect the integrity of the artworks whilst also being responsive to the ever growing number of different formats and channels across which the brand would need to live – both physical and digital.

Full of life

Denise continues, “ultimately this is a Gallery of people for people. And whether people visit in person or online, at the Gallery or beyond, for an exhibition, to do some research, enjoy an event, or grab a coffee – this is a place for everyone, full of life and filled with life stories”.
This means we needed to create a brand for so much more than a gallery. We were creating a brand for a shop, a new café, a fine dining restaurant, a learning centre, family activities and even a night out. We needed to create a brand that could flex and mean lots of different things to lots of different people, whilst still feeling part of a strong, distinctive, unified whole.

Keep your eyes peeled

So over the next few months, you will see lots of exciting things happening as we help the Gallery teams to roll out their new brand and prepare to reopen on 22 June 2023, where all will be revealed.
Created in collaboration with:
National Portrait Gallery Marketing & Design
Strategy – Boardroom consulting
Research – RDSI
Illustrator and Typographer – Peter Horridge
Typeface – Monotype
Brand film – Hatch Films
Motion – orderdesignuk