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National Museums Liverpool Reveals New Branding

National Museums Liverpool has unveiled its new brand as it opens up its galleries and museums once more following enforced closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The museum group decided the time was right to update its public image with a rebranding exercise. According to National Museums Liverpool, the idea is to mark the return to free public visits to its institutions with new exhibitions and fresh perspectives, accompanied by a new take on its traditional brand.

In fact, National Museums Liverpool has been operating under its current name since 2003. Before then, it was known as National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, reflecting the fact that it is both a body that is run on behalf of the nation throughout the wider region. However, back then, it was decided to make the name shorter and easier for the public to engage with. Seventeen years after that exercise, the body that runs National Museums Liverpool set up a competitive tendering process to appoint a design team that could help it to rebrand.

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Professional Design Processes

The award-winning design studio, SomeOne, won the tender and was duly appointed last year. Importantly, the rebranding exercise that followed did not merely focus on a brand refresh for the body that is responsible for the institutions but of all its sub-brands, too. At the moment, National Museums Liverpool runs World Museum in Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery, also in Liverpool, and the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral, among others. The process of rebranding involved a fresh look for each of these institutions within a core identity of the body as a whole. In addition, SomeOne was charged with including the corporate events business that is run by the public body as well as the group’s award-winning dementia awareness scheme, known as House of Memories.

According to National Museums Liverpool, the new brand identity is based on a revitalised public body that is energetic and focused. This collective energy is to be found in all of the artefacts, people and experiences that the public can engage with at any of the group’s institutions. In a statement, the museum group said that it had captured this energy and successfully communicated it throughout its entire “BrandWorld” in the form of a visual wave that constitutes its new logo. “A visual wave of energy [is now]… our brand symbol,” the statement read.

Simon Manchipp, SomeOne’s founder, said that his team had simplified the current brand architecture used by the group. “We concentrated our efforts to better connect the many strands of the portfolio,” he said. Manchipp went on to say that this meant the new branding needed to work in a unified way for both visitors and employees of National Museums Liverpool but that it had to do so in a way that was not too one dimensional or simplistic.

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Time For a Relaunch

The Executive Director of Audiences and Media at the museum body, David Watson, spoke enthusiastically about what SomeOne had achieved. Although he acknowledged that the group’s last logo had served it well for over a decade, he was delighted by the rebranding. He said that the time was right to move on from the turquoise ‘L’ that had been used in that period even though it had become synonymous with the organisation. “Time has moved on,” he said, “and so has the personality, the character and the overarching mission of National Museums Liverpool.”

Watson went on to say that he thought working with a renowned brand studio, like SomeOne, had helped to shape the brand concept in line with the body’s latest strategy and values. “Going forward, [our brand]… will fully embed these values,” he said. Watson also added that the rebranding had a ‘strong story behind it’ which described the expertise, the identity and the ambition of the museum group. “This reflects our ability to play our part on the international stage,” he said.

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Museum Branding That Stands Out From The Crowd

About the author – Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr is a journalist working in the arts and cultural sectors. With a background in marketing, Manuel is drawn to arts organizations which are prepared to try inventive ways to reach new audiences.

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