Manchester Art Gallery

Communicating the excitement of encounters with art

Where did we start?

The Manchester Art Gallery is one of Britain’s finest art museums. For many years, the Gallery had focused on being accessible and welcoming, but with a new Director in post we were asked to help articulate a new vision for the gallery and reflect this in a more sophisticated and cohesive verbal identity. We then created a retail strategy designed to manifest the gallery’s new values and connect the experience of the gallery with that of the commercial space.

What did we do?

We started with researching where they are today through interviews, workshops with staff, sales analysis, comparative shopping and staff training. The resulting verbal identity guidelines interpreted the gallery’s vision and values into a set of clear writing principles which all staff could use in their work. Work on key messages also helped staff communicate more clearly to audiences what was special about the gallery. The retail strategy was developed around the idea of ‘exuberant necessities and necessary extravagances’ and this was expressed in a new product range offering brilliant beautiful basics and audacious gifts.

What's the impact?

The new vision and verbal identity have helped make the Manchester Art Gallery a more confident, contemporary and compelling cultural institution. The new retail proposition and the training offered as part of the project have empowered the team to make the right decisions and develop brilliant new ideas for the future.