Britain's National Portrait Gallery has been closed since March 2020, and ahead of its grand reopening in June 2023, it's had a beautiful new rebrand, courtesy of Edit Brand Studio, with the brand strategy created in collaboration with Boardroom Consulting.
The gallery wanted a new identity to help it have more presence, more reach and more relevance, and needed to strike a balance between classic and contemporary - like the gallery itself, which has a vast collection of historic portraits, as well as more modern works. The logo in particular sits beautifully between these two worlds. I can imagine this being used as a future example of excellence in some of the best branding books.
Edit Brand Studio (opens in new tab) created the new logo in collaboration with illustrator and typographer Peter Horridge (opens in new tab) and type foundry Monotype (opens in new tab) (creators of the typography trends we wrote about yesterday), inspired in part by a 1893 sketch by the gallery's first ever director, Sir George Scharf.
This resulting monogram is an elegant solution that conveys the name of the gallery while also giving a feel of its grandeur, without looking too old-worldly. Alongside the new logotype sit a fresh typeface and colour palette, which can be used flexibly to enhance and sit alongside, rather than overpower, the portraits.
The flexibility of the brand was particularly important as it needed to sit not just alongside the portraits, but also in areas within the gallery such as the shop and gallery and learning centre.
I think this is one of the most elegant brand solutions I've seen in a while, and it certainly wins the best rebrand of 2023 so far for me. I look forward to visiting the gallery later in the year and seeing how the new look works in situ. For now though, check out the National Portrait Gallery website (opens in new tab) to see the identity in action.