Case Study: Colnaghi

Colnaghi is the world’s oldest commercial gallery, with locations in London, New York and Madrid.

I was tasked with creating a scalable brand architecture and solidifying a brand message that would resonate with future generations whilst retaining the loyalty of the existing audiences of this heritage brand. Through extensive workshopping and research I was able to define the language, tone and behavioural traits that would inform all communications.

My work identified that with an unparalleled knowledge base, archive and history built up via the gallery and carried  forward by the Colanghi foundation, the Colnaghi Group was uniquely placed to challenge assumptions and the apparent limitations of specialising in antiquities and the art of the past.  

This pan historic perspective also allowed Colnaghi a unique view on the relationships between art from the last century and that of the  previous millennia. This long view and particular  ability to learn from the past to connect with the  present, was the bedrock upon which all Colnaghi brands would be built.

My copy:

Colnaghi Group is a group of organisations built on the foundations of the world’s oldest  commercial art gallery, established in 1760.  

Currently comprising three exhibition spaces internationally, a centuries-old  archive of art and cultural artefacts, and an art education charity, Colnaghi embodies the idea that art sustains humanity yet history can never be  definitive. There are in fact infinite renderings of past to be discovered, which allow us to continually learn and better understand contemporary existence.

From this messaging I began to work with brand design expert Nik House to create a visual brand system that used the initial “C” as a lens to bring focus and comparison —  reflecting the gallery’s unique perspective. 

The brand system allowed for consistency of visual language along with an adaptability of formatting and colour selection dependent on whatever artwork was used as a lead image. This was an essential consideration for a gallery dealing with a such a wide range of artworks and images.

Taking the brand system and working with UX designer Simon Baker we began to design an entirely new online identity for Colnaghi which is currently in the final stages of development (watch this space… )