Having recently reopened its venues following a six-month closure due to Covid, National Museums Liverpool (NML) is returning with new shows, new perspectives, and a fresh approach to its brand, riding a new wave of optimism that will take it into the future.
Following a competitive tender process in 2020, the award winning, international design studio, SomeOne was appointed, with a focus on the refreshing the brand of the national museums group, along with its sub brands, including the corporate events business ‘Hosted by National Museums Liverpool’, and the award-winning dementia awareness programme, ‘House of Memories.'
The new brand focuses on the groups revitalised and energetic focus. The collective energy of the objects, people and experiences of NML is captured and communicated throughout our entire BrandWorld in wave form; a visual wave of energy which now becomes our brand symbol appearing across all branded items and depicts the letters N M L on a colour palette of black, white and rhodamine.
The new written strategy promises the group is ‘never dull’. The line accompanies the new branding and sets out the organisation to be — despite its historic background — very much focused on progress, in celebrating change and embracing the future in dynamic ways.
David Watson, Executive Director of Audiences and Media at NML, said: “Our last brand served us well for more than 10 years, with its launch coinciding with the opening of our flagship waterfront venue, the Museum of Liverpool back in 2011. The turquoise ‘L’ ribbon has been synonymous with the organisation and the many highlights we’ve experienced over the past decade, but time has moved on and so has our personality, our character and our overall mission.
“We wanted to work with a brand studio that would refresh our overall concept in line with our updated strategy and values, and to ensure that our brand going forward would be fully embedded in these values with a strong story behind it to capture our expertise, our identity and our ambition – reflecting our ability and desire to play on the international field. The team from SomeOne has helped us to do that in spades.”
Since the beginning of 2020, NML committed to reviewing the current brand in a collaborative, engaging and robust way, looking at the perception of the brand both internally and externally. Working with SomeOne, there followed extensive research, workshops, surveys and then the creative process of crafting the ‘look’ and a deep dive into how the brand should make people feel when they engaged with it.
The extensive research exercise conducted by SomeOne analysed how external people interacted with the brand, benchmarking it against competitors in the arts sector and other sectors locally. It also reviewed what internal colleagues thought, allowing a broad consultative process that sought the views of staff right across the business.
Workshops and internal feedback, coupled with the external research, led to an overwhelming 99% vote to wholly refresh the brand and further in-depth workshops and surveys helped define what the brand should look and feel like, which included choosing words to reflect where NML is going and what images best represent that.
Laura Pye, Director of NML, said: “The consultative process was really interesting with descriptive words being identified, highlighting the character of the organisation including Curious, Brave, Imaginative, Approachable, Responsible and Essential. These words all foster a sense of pride and an organisation that is both creative and full of drive and energy, which SomeOne took very seriously and have reflected perfectly in the new branding. We’re really excited to start rolling it out across our seven venues and starting the development of a strong relationship with our visitors, stakeholders and colleagues with the brand.”
The new brand will be updated across the National Museums Liverpool estate, both internally and externally to anything that would support the brand, including building fabric, online platforms, forms, policies, internal platforms, wayfinding, uniforms, marketing materials and venue dressing.
Launching in June 2021, all changes will be in place by the time the Museum of Liverpool marks its 10th birthday on 19 July, representing a new moment for the organisation, as it looks forward to the next decade of change and exciting developments, with one promise… it will be anything but dull.
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NOTES TO EDITOR
National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool (NML) comprises seven venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attracted more than 3 million visitors in 2019.
Our venues are Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Sudley House and Lady Lever Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool is regulated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).