Scarborough Museums and Galleries

Creating a brand identity to galvanise and connect.

When Scarborough Museums Trust merged with Woodend, they needed a new brand identity and name to unite and reposition the organisation and bring together their venues. We were delighted to be appointed to work with them on this important project.

SMT managed two venues, the Scarborough Art Gallery and the Rotunda Museum. Woodend is a historic house and once home to historic literary family the Sitwells in the late 1800’s. Now it houses a stunning art gallery and contemporary studios for a range of creative businesses as well as a cafe. All venues are linked by beautiful gardens that connect the gallery and Woodend to the Rotunda Museum, so it was clear to see the merger would strengthen Scarborough’s cultural offering and bring the organisations together to promote and care for these historic town venues.

With diverse venues and differing audiences we worked closely with the teams at each place, we visited the sites to understand the commonalities, the locations and the people who make these places so special to Scarborough. We held workshops with staff across all venues to understand their vision and ambition for the new organisation. They told us they wanted to celebrate and raise awareness of Scarborough’s cultural places and to instil pride amongst the community. Yes they wanted to attract visitors from all across the world, but they wanted the people of Scarborough to open their hearts to these amazing places first.

We established a set of values, influenced by the views and ideas of their team. Underpinning the values is the new positioning line. ‘Shaping the world around you’. The experience is centred on the individual and shaped around them, from the smallest detail to the largest wow moment. Like wise audiences shape and tailor their own experience, from online engagement to visiting an exhibition, every interaction is different and they can make it their own.

The consultation also highlighted the need to retain Scarborough in the organisational name to instil a sense of belonging and to celebrate civic pride so Scarborough Museums and Galleries was the favoured name. The new name has presence, is descriptive in the offer and showcases museums and galleries.

We established a new brand architecture with the organisational name overarching the venues, and names and straplines were developed for each venue.

In our visual explorations it was important to give a connection between the venues and the new organisation, yet for each venue to retain it’s own personality. The workshops were key in understanding how we would best position each place to reinforce cohesion but not to lose their individual spirit.

The visual identity translates across the group of venues and reflects the multi-layers that shape a visit or experience with Scarborough Museums and Galleries. Overlapping shapes create letterform logo’s to represent their connected communities value as well as the contrast and overlap of past and present. There is a clear connecting vernacular between the venues, yet space for each place to retain it’s own personality.

The shapes become a canvas or frame to hold an array of content, from imagery and colour to pattern and videos. Inspired by heritage Scarborian tourist posters the colour palette is awash with seaside nostalgia.

Imagery nods to themes such as heritage roots, real moments, buildings and architecture, collections and exhibitions and graphic and photographic patterns can be used. Bespoke iconography was also developed to reflect the visual language.

The new website launched June 2022 and we’re excited to see the brand identity rolling out through the year.

With a merging of organisations in the pipeline, working with Altogether happened at the perfect time for us. Working collaboratively with my colleagues at the museum through workshops and interventions, Altogether packaged and delivered a set of brand values, a vibrant and accessible visual identity, printed materials and a much needed new website. Not only were Altogether a joy to work with but their creative expertise, level headedness and patience ensured the project ran smoothly. It has been the best start to an exciting working relationship with this wonderful team of people.

Emma Hallam, Associate Marketing Manager, Scarborough Museums and Galleries