It’s always a proud moment to see a brand you’ve worked on being released to the world, and on the evening of June 28th, The Postal Museum held a pre-launch party to celebrate the opening of the museum and Mail Rail in 4 weeks time. I was lucky enough to attend and see the brand out there in all it’s glory.
It’s a challenging one, designing an identity for a venue that’s not open yet. It takes detailed research, collaboration with architects and to some extent a leap of faith and gut instinct! For a multi-venue attraction of this size, with an entry fee, getting the brand right is a question of sink or swim. Needless to say we have worked with the communications team ever so closely, as they put their all into bring this huge project to life.
So on a chilly London evening in June I attended this exclusive pre-launch event. It was incredible to see how far the project had come. Last time I had visited the Mail Rail it looked completely abandoned, with the lockers from the employees still there marked with football team graffiti and a clock still hung on the wall in the office that hadn’t been used since the early 80’s! Now on entering Mail Rail, it was so dramatic. With the industrial feel sensitively restored it felt like it had been in use forever.
Hints of the brand sung out everywhere, from the way-finding to the fundraising materials, it cemented what we had always believed in, that this brand would seamlessly translate for the visitor.
I was lucky enough to speak to one of the Mail Rail drivers and engineers, Ray, who actually worked on the underground postal line when it was in use. He will now drive the small mail carriages for visitors, taking them on a journey through London’s underground mail system. It was wonderful to think that without these people behind the project, it would not have come to life in such a way that feels effortless. As with any organisation, particularly heritage venues, it’s the real people that help to shape the visitor experience.
It was moving to hear Chairman Rick Will’s speech about how much work has gone into the project and Blondel Cluff from HLF London speaking about supporting these ideas and stories that build a sense of identity, not just in the city of London but worldwide.
It was a great night of celebration, but of course the real critics will be the visitors when it opens to the public on July 28th. We wish The Postal Museum and Mail Rail every success, the real journey is only just starting!
Co-Founder + Strategy Director