I can't get enough of the National Portrait Gallery rebrand

National Portrait Gallery rebrand on posters
(Image credit: National Portrait Gallery)

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.

National Portrait Gallery logo before and after

The initial 1893 sketch (left) and the new logotype (right) (Image credit: National Portrait Gallery)

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.

National Portrait Gallery rebrand on tags and a tote bag

The flexible brand works well across a range of touchpoints (Image credit: National Portrait Gallery)

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.

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she helps take care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure its content serves its readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.