The Whitworth

Creating a 21st-century gallery in the park

Where did we start?

The Whitworth is a public art gallery founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park. Under the leadership of a new Director, the Whitworth has undergone a £15 million redevelopment to create a ‘21st-century gallery in the park’. Our brief was to create a brand strategy and a retail strategy that would reflect the Whitworth’s transformation and vision for the future.

What did we do?

Working closely with all internal and external stakeholders we developed a distinctive brand strategy, focused around the idea of 'a place where good odd things happen'. Through thorough research, interviews and comparative shopping, we also helped them articulate their commercial ambition and explore what their strategy could look like in practice in the shop, in terms of both product range and visual merchandising. And we helped them restructure the retail department and recruit new key people to deliver the new strategy effectively.

What's the impact?

The brand strategy was used as the conceptual foundation for the redevelopment work and there was huge public acclaim on the gallery’s reopening in February 2015. The new gallery shop has proved incredibly successful, with the first two months’ turnover after the reopening significantly higher than that of the entire previous year.

“The Whitworth is coming into its own as a gallery not just for the city and the surrounding community, but for the entire country.” 

The Telegraph