Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales is rolling out a new brand following two years of research and consultation.
One of the key aims of the rebranding, according to the organisation, is to get people to recognise that it is a family of seven museums and a collections centre that "tell a coherent story of Wales’ past and its present while embracing its future".
Amgueddfa Cymru also wanted to emphasise that its museums are "community spaces that reach far beyond their walls and locations on a map".
The team behind the rebrand wanted to reflect Amgueddfa Cymru’s role as an activist museum. The organisation has declared a climate emergency, backed the Black Lives Matter campaign and has put sustainability at the heart of its new strategy.
“So many people view rebranding as just a new-look logo,” said Jenny Walford, brand manager at Amgueddfa Cymru. “It’s actually about everything we do as an organisation, about who we are and how we want to make people feel when they engage with us, whether that’s in one of our physical museums, digitally or when we are working out in the community.”
Amgueddfa Cymru worked with Welsh company Run, Jump, Fly to develop a brand voice that is designed to add energy and be inclusive. The organisation said that it has ditched “museum speak”, which can be offputting to some.
Amgueddfa Cymru commissioned Wales-based design agency Uned to create its visual identity. The new brand uses a specially created font, which emphasises the unique characters of, and the museum’s pride in, the Welsh language.
The organisation says the identity is inspired by the campaigning language of protest and placards, with capital letters and short, sharp messaging.
The font has two parts – a headline “attention grabbing” font that will be used for advertising, and a body font for everyday use. The new logo is Museum Wales in Welsh.
Catrin Taylor, the head of marketing and communications at Amgueddfa Cymru, said: “We’ve always been a bilingual museum and have given the Welsh language the same prominence as English. But we wanted to go a step further with our new brand to demonstrate our pride in the language.
“This reflects what’s happening across the nation, with the Welsh football team calling themselves Cymru and a sense that people are embracing the language more and more. It’s part of who we are. We’re also committed to helping the Welsh Government meet its target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
Amgueddfa Cymru said that creating imagery for the rebrand has involved staff from all over the organisation. The idea is to build a personal connection between the people visitors see in adverts, and the ones they encounter in the museums.
Photographer Jon Pountney has created portraits of staff and will be working with some of the community groups as well.
Taylor said: “The internal team has worked as one with our external partners. It’s been a real team effort to get this far, and this is only the beginning.
“There has been a real buzz around the new brand within the organisation, who are seeing themselves very much as working for one family of museums, not attached to one particular building, in a way that they perhaps didn’t before. There’s a confidence there, too, that we can play a part in making people’s lives that little bit better.”