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National Gallery new brand identity Elizabeth line

National Portrait Gallery unveils logo based on 19th-century sketch

Illustrator Peter Horridge has created a logo for the National Portrait Gallery in London based on a sketch by the gallery's first director.

Created ahead of the National Portrait Gallery's planned reopening later this year, following refurbishment, the logo was informed by Sir George Scharf's sketch from 1893, which was discovered in the archive.

National Portrait gallery new logo
The logo (right) is based on an 1893 sketch by the gallery's first director (left)

The bespoke logotype, which was hand-drawn by Horridge, features the entwined NPG initials of the gallery.

These initials can also be seen around the gallery in the metalwork of railings, carved in furniture and embedded in mosaics from the time the gallery first opened.

Historic versions of the NPG initials can be seen around the gallery in railings and mosaics

The gallery's previous logo featured the full name National Portrait Gallery, whereas the updated logo is only the initials, entwined in a roundel.

Besides the new logo a contemporary typeface named NPG Serif was created by type foundry Monotype.

Working with designers Edit Brand Studio and brand strategists Boardroom Consulting, the National Portrait Gallery developed the brand strategy and visual identity to create "a new face" for the institution, ahead of the Jamie Fobert Architects-designed reopening in June 2023.

The new brand treatment features a fresh and bright colour palette, inspired by paint and materials in the building and archive.

National Portrait gallery new typeface NPG Serif
A font was created for the gallery by Monotype

Karen Hughes, Edit Brand Studio creative director, explained the requirement to "create a brand for so much more than a gallery".

"We were creating a brand for a shop, a new cafe, a fine dining restaurant, a learning centre, family activities and even a night out," she added.

London underground tube posters for National Portrait gallery new brand identity
The logo used across the rebrand features the NPG initials

The gallery has been closed since 2020 for the biggest redevelopment of the site since the building opened in 1896.

Alongside historic specialists Purcell, Jamie Fobert Architect is overseeing a significant refurbishment aimed to enhance the visibility and accessibility of the gallery.

National Portrait Gallery merch umbrella and tags with new logo
National Portrait Gallery merchandise featuring the new logo design

The branding went live across the gallery's website and digital channels on Wednesday 25 Jan when they also announced the exhibitions programme for later in the year, including new work by David Hockney, painting by lead Black artists and never-before-seen portraits of The Beatles taken by Paul McCartney.

Old National Portrait Gallery logo
The old National Portrait Gallery logo

Illustrator Horridge is best known for his logos and crests designs, including the iconic three lions shield for the England football team, an update to the royal crest of King Charles III, as well as logos for London hotel Claridge's and champagne brand Krug.

Other recent brand redesigns include Audi's flat logo, King Charles III's royal monogram and Peter Saville's update to fashion brand Ferragamo's identity.

More images

National Portrait gallery new brand identity
The National Portrait Gallery's new brand identity
National Portrait gallery new typeface NPG Serif
The NPG Serif typeface created by Monotype
National Portrait Gallery tote with new logo
The new logo design on a tote for The National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait gallery new brand identity
Design treatment for The National Portrait Gallery's rebrand