Jane Wentworth

  • Founder and Director
  • A veritable font of creativity and charisma, Jane has an uncanny knack of being able to get straight to the heart of issues in a uniquely visual way.
  • With over 20 years of international branding experience at Wolff Olins, she has an unparalleled record with cultural institutions, having worked with The V&A, Royal Academy, the Hallé, Statens Museum for Kunst, Salt, Imperial War Museum, SOAS, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Glyndebourne, Freer|Sackler and many others.
  • In 2003, Jane set up Jane Wentworth Associates to provide brand consultancy purely for the cultural sector. What followed speaks for itself.

Q&A with Jane Wentworth

Brand is like a film production: it’s about bringing everything together with a purpose, knowing what you want to say, having a sense of the story, and finding an original and compelling way to get it across.

We sketch out a very light framework which gives an organisation some parameters, but also encourages them to be as creative as possible. Most people find complete freedom inhibiting, so this is a way of offering a structure without being proscriptive.

I instinctively spot patterns. I look for connections in behaviour, colour, words. So when I’m looking at an organisation I’m always grouping things and making a pattern in my mind. I’m looking for the lines which might join things, the clues about what pulls it all together.

You should never see it as dumbing down but inpsiring up. It’s about making things which are  so engaging that you want to know more – things which are just intriguing that they hook you in, and then you can be worked out of your comfort zone. It’s like sport – pushing yourself to do the impossible. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run a marathon without training, and the same is true of some kinds of art.

‘Commerce’ is just a means to an end with culture: you need to be savvy enough to be able to realise your dreams, and you can’t do that without enough money and support so at the very least culture has to be professional with its money. That doesn’t mean being greedy, but at least learning the key things from the commercial world about how to raise money, how to balance the books. If you want to put on experimental, inspirational work, you’ve got to know how to use your budget properly.