A £3.8 million restoration project highlighted the need for Fulham Palace House & Garden to undergo a full brand review. This transformation underpinned a business plan for 2025, the goal being financial self-sufficiency.
Design Culture has been working with Fulham Palace to create a brand in line with this organisational objective. The new identity needed to reflect the new visitor offer, engage audiences with the relaunch, and support Fulham Palace Trust’s fundraising efforts.
Design Culture’s research unearthed audience misperceptions of the Palace that ranged from that of a grand palace with ornate rooms to a football team (!). Others saw it as ‘invisible’, a ‘hidden gem’ tucked away behind trees and iron gates. The first step in the brand’s development was a recommendation to add ‘House & Garden’ to the name, to communicate and connect the physical spaces that sit at the heart of the offer.
Fulham Palace has been a site of significance for centuries with a rich and diverse history – from Roman settlement to residence of the Bishops of London and its time as a World War hospital. The new identity reflects and celebrates the diversity and the fact that the fullness of that history is yet to be uncovered.
Strategic Director Kristen Streten describes the rebrand work:
“The Palace is on a journey to discover every chapter of its 6000-year history – and is actively inviting all audiences to get involved and play a part in uncovering its stories. We developed a new strategic framework around the central brand idea of ‘revealing time’, encapsulating this excitement of revealing history through ‘layers of time’ and the endless opportunities for the Palace and its audiences to engage with”.
Layering runs through every aspect of the identity: colour, typography, illustration and language. These playful elements work both separately and in unison, allowing Fulham Palace to make the most of the brand across all channels and touchpoints, and offering opportunity to dial the brand up and down where it is needed.
Chief Executive Sian Harrington says:
“It was vital that the new brand identity communicated everything that we can offer our audiences in a competitive heritage market. The Palace is a significant historic house, museum and learning centre, but we are also a thirteen-acre garden and an exciting venue for concerts, weddings and family events. In addition we wanted to communicate that we are engaged in a continuous and exciting process of discovery regarding the long history of our site and its inhabitants. Design Culture understood our position perfectly, and the brand does an excellent job of saying so much in such a simple way”.
Design Culture was also commissioned to build a vibrant, optimised and responsive website to manifest the new brand. The finished result is a digital space that brings the Palace’s past and present together through visually appealing informative material, highlighting all that’s on offer for users, whether they are a family seeking a weekend activity, an individual looking to explore the grounds and relax in the café, or a researcher interested in the history of the Palace. Visit the new website at www.fulhampalace.org
This is now open to the public and free to enter, come along to take a look!