York Museums Trust (YMT) is an independent charity responsible for managing a series of fantastic venues across the historic city of York. The leadership team had expressed a desire to better position YMT to achieve its vision of working with communities to inspire, share and care for cultural heritage, by driving more equity into the YMT brand. Bert was delighted to be commissioned to guide all key stakeholders through a brand review and refresh process.
Brand hierarchy review
Print and digital collateral
We began by visiting each venue and spending time with curators and staff to gain a deeper understanding of their physical space, exhibitions, the experience and their visitors. We then secured our DMT for the project, including representation from the board of trustees, leadership Team, management team (spanning digital, marketing, comms, fundraising & partnerships) and venue leads. We used CoCreation to consult with this team and understand more about YMT's strategic aims and goals, and the origin of the idea to drive more equity into the YMT brand. This knowledge was then built upon by testing the thinking with external audiences to understand what they knew about YMT and its venue brands, and taking the opportunity to really engage YMT’s communities in creative change.
All brought together under the YMT umbrella, the decision was made to use a branded house model to align the organisation better internally and externally. We also created a strong, consistent brand image across the portfolio by refreshing the YMT and venue logos. It was a purposefully simple design solution that used a single typeface and a familiar two colour approach. Black was used to highlight York as the prefix, giving strength to the destination, and a suite of complimentary colours were chosen for the suffix to differentiate YMT and each of the venues.
Our art direction and guidance on way finding and signage helped YMT to make the most of the branded house model, and create a real presence across the city. Each piece of signage and way finding used a consistent design style that was recognisable across all venues, tying them neatly together under the YMT umbrella. By using the bold and vibrant venue colours generously, we were able to differentiate them and draw-in visitors and passers by.
Our work extended to venue campaigns and exhibitions, including the '1914: When the world changed forever' exhibition at York Castle Museum and 'Ceramic is a new art' campaign for York Art Gallery. The 'Ceramic is a new art' campaign took inspiration from René Magritte's Ceci n’est pas une pipe and Marcel Duchamps Fontaine, to create brave and bold campaign identity that proudly promoted ceramics as an art-form throughout the UK. Each campaign was brought to life through outdoor, display and digital channels.
To support the launch and roll-out of the refreshed YMT identity we created a suite of print and digital collateral for YMT and each of the venue brands, including all new corporate stationary; membership cards; visitor gift bags and tickets; staff lanyards, and a collection of merchandise.