At the end of March the National Army Museum will reopen following a £23.75 million HLF-supported redevelopment of its Chelsea site and in conjunction with the new launch the museum set out to transform perceptions of ‘a dark and austere military museum to a modern, bright, engaging and relevant space fit for the 21st century’.
Following an extensive review of the existing National Army Museum brand, and working with creative agencies Small Back Room, Premm Design, and ABG Design, the new National Army Museum brand is reflected in the physical museum.
“We are a museum whose story is both historic and of the moment. Not a day goes by without it featuring in the media; this is a unique and special position,’ said Genevieve Adkins, Assistant Director of Public Programmes. “The story is controversial, thought-provoking, sad, inspiring and, at times, amusing. Our role is to be more than a museum. We provide a space where audiences can reflect on the role of the army in society and the connection we, as citizens, have with it both historically and today.”
Adkins also said the museum strives to talk about its subject in insightful ways that are conversational, stimulating and above all real and relevant. “We want to inspire conversations, not just questions and answers, and support genuine and meaningful encounters with our story for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The new brand encapsulates this position.”
The design approach to the brand has been driven by colour, materials and textures found within the army. A diverse colour palette of energy and vibrancy reflecting the bright medal ribbons and regimental colours have replaced the traditional reds, dark greens, browns and greys. Metal colours reflect polished medals themselves and convey service and the value of that service. These colours and materials sit at the heart of the new brand and will be visible throughout the new museum. Normandy green, the corporate colour, gives a modern, fresh and approachable aesthetic, yet is firmly rooted in the army and British traditions.
The branding agencies have also created a brand asset called Namouflage. This new distinctive mark, made up of overlapping museum titles, creates a military camo effect. The graphic device can be seen across commercial and corporate assets, merchandise ranges and the new website. A more playful Namouflage has also been created for Play Base which incorporates animals such as butterflies, lizards and rabbits.
The National Army Museum website has undergone a complete redesign to also align with the new brand and redeveloped museum. Created by Deeson, Europe’s leading Drupal agency and a specialist in cultural heritage sector, the new online hub will encourage conversations and allow easy access for audiences to find out what’s on, explore the museum’s Collection and to book events.
The National Army Museum will open on 30 March.