In 2002, Manchester Art Gallery re-opened following a £35 million expansion and refurbishment project. Before the closure they had carried out extensive research and learned that there were issues with the gallery’s brand: a perception that Manchester Art Gallery was unfriendly and unwelcoming, and also lacking in prestige. These were issues they aimed to address both by the transformation of the gallery, but also with a wide-ranging communication strategy, including a new brand identity.
As part of the brand identity review and improvements, we revisited our brand values and our communications and how these related to our visitors. In a number of cross departmental workshops, we reiterated that what we do at Manchester Art Gallery is high quality and accessible, and we always try to do this in a way that is friendly and welcoming, engaging and informative. Generic values perhaps, but essential to positioning us as an audience-focused organisation.