A successful transition from government department to creative venue has breathed new life into this neoclassical building, opening it to the public and bringing music, art and learning to this historic setting.
What’s on offer is an ever changing mix of solidly permanent and gloriously temporary — something new and different every day, but always something brilliant. The glue that holds together this remarkable combination is Somerset House itself, the stage on which people can experience everything it has to offer. The brand needed to reflect the continuity of the venue and the eclectic personality of every event.
The visual style takes the few defined elements of the Somerset House brand — the logo and typeface — and imposes a rigid consistency across their use. Within this defined framework beautiful and individual design expresses the unique personality of every event. This visual combination of the predictable and the unpredictable cleverly demonstrates what makes Somerset House so unique, reinforcing the value it adds to every event.
Design cannot try to standardise the wonderful and eclectic nature of what Somerset House hosts. Every communication has to be as unique as the event or exhibition itself. The solution defines a blank canvas for the creative imagination.
This developed system sets out rules around the use of key elements — sizing, positioning and use of type — but leaves the rest of the design flexible. This flexibility sets high standards for design — ensuring that every communication reflects the quality of every event or exhibition.
The design solution has to allow for the inclusion of other brands. Many events and exhibitions are sponsored by a commercial company, or put on in partnership with another organisation, or both. The Somerset House branding cannot overshadow its partners and guidelines governing the use of corporate logos has to be respected — but no brand should dictate the design. The system puts the event at the heart of every communication, so no brand can dominate.