The London-based design agency was tasked with revitalizing what was described as “previously inconsistent and neglected branding” of the RHS. “Despite the significant and lasting impact of the RHS’s work, their brand visually lacked pride and presence amongst other UK heritage organizations and needed to feel more inclusive to a wider audience,” says Design Bridge.
To combat this, the agency worked with the concept of “the boundless wonder of growth”, taking this positive sentiment as inspiration for the entire brand renewal. “We wanted to allow the charity to tell its story in a clear and compelling way, help it stand out among the crowd and raise awareness of its work,” adds Design Bridge.
The agency admits the project was a ‘true collaboration’ from the start, working with the HRH team and alongside fellow agency and WPP partner Wunderman-Thompson, whose focus was on strategy branding and a disruptive brand campaign, ‘We Speak Plante’.
In 12 months, the agency developed a new visual identity with a rich palette that reflects the different seasons and their different tones. Motion design also plays an important role, helping to capture the idea of ’growth’ and the fact that nature is never static. A distinctive style of illustration was introduced, reflecting the life and vibrancy of gardening. Created by illustrator Paul ‘Dessy’ Desmond, the artworks reinterpret the beauty of botanical illustrations from the RHS archive, layered with vibrant patterns. Finally, the accompanying typographic style by Rob Clarke adds a sense of confidence and expertise while being modern and distinctive through mixed fonts, inspired by garden plant labeling.
“We’ve created a cohesive design system that reflects the organization’s extensive history while making the brand more appealing to contemporary audiences,” says Tim Vary, Creative Director of Design Bridge. “Using the design idea of the transformative power of growth, we crafted ever-changing and transforming visuals. Layering textures, vibrant seasonal color palettes and a mix of historical botanical illustrations and typefaces alongside new moving images, we have formed a design system reflecting the past, present and future of the organization.