National Railway Museum

Rebrand and positioning

Understanding the Essence

The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in the world, attracting almost 1 million visitors a year. It has the important responsibility of representing the subject areas past, present and future, telling the story of rail transport and its impact on society. After a brand re-positioning exercise, it was agreed that the essence of the Museum is about ‘Connecting Generations’, and our job was to bring this to life in a new identity, appealing to more families whilst not alienating the enthusiasts.

Our approach

We created a new contemporary identity that also reflected the rich heritage of rail travel. It’s modern, simple, easy to read and dynamic with a clear indication of speed and momentum. The angled slashes can be found in the iconography and architecture of railway throughout history. As well as designing the new logo, we also created extensive brand guidelines with graphic elements, typefaces, colours, etc, which the in-house team have been applying to the website, merchandise and signage.

A staggering return on investment

The results have been excellent in the 2 years since rebrand in 2011. Visitor numbers have increased by 15%, with family visits up from 41% to 59%. All in a falling local market, with visitors to major attractions in York down by 12%. The rebrand has also won a DBA Design Effectiveness Award. Emma Farley, Marketing and PR Manager, added:

“Thompson Brand Partners has helped bring out the very best of our heritage but at the same time created a stunning new identity that appeals to younger audiences and families.”