The Museum has tremendous assets, resources, and offerings, but as it tried to evolve and adapt to a changing marketplace and audience it had adopted a reactionary mode, resulting in a multifarious brand and message. We were engaged to help with brand management with a focus on creating a unified new look across all communication. The Museum was in a state of transition and we were entering mid-transition. We recommended a triage approach—treat the immediate communication challenge while slowly working on building a cohesive new brand strategy, allowing us to resolve the biggest brand communication challenges without compromising the future development. It also allowed us to bypass the typical long-term consensus building and move quickly to implement a refreshed look and some new key communication needs.
First we dropped the previous logo and chose to write out the Museum name in full, without any marks or unique identity pieces—we considered this a no frills approach to the brand. This ensured the Museum name was always clearly communicated and perceived by the reader. We then proceeded to develop a new design system and communication strategy. Our team established new standards for photography and quickly built a new system, guidelines, and use rules. Our team then implemented the new system piece by piece, beginning with a complete redesign of the seasonal catalogue, and eventually working our way through each piece of communication. On a separate path, we worked with the Director on building a new brand strategy, founded in the vision for the Museum and aligned to the aspirations for their future.
The new design system was overwhelmingly engaged by members and stakeholders. The Museum has experienced significant increase in awareness and visitors since the refresh, and our work has been a platform to communciate the advancements in exciting new content and programs. The project exemplifies that organizations are in a constant dialogue with their users and new prospects, and that an image refresh does not need to be a spectacle, sometimes it can be a slow adjustment in how you speak, your mannerisms, and your gestures.