Sometimes bravery is staying the same
It takes real guts not to vote for change. Not to throw over the status quo for an unknown but novel future. It takes bravery to work with what you’ve got, to drive challenge and change from within.
I’m talking, of course, about the Tate’s new brand refresh (what else?)
The temptation is always there, in pitch or presentation, to go for transformation. For radical. For new. It feels like the right thing for your reputation, for your team, for your desire to be noticed, loved and feared. And, for the love of novelty we all share (‘seeking’ is one of the six instincts shared by all mammals).
But what if it’s not the right thing for the client? Then you risk losing that pitch or being chucked out of that presentation (but keeping your integrity).
So, sometimes, it takes a brave design agency, and a brave client, to embrace smaller steps.
North’s brand refresh took the aspects of the Tate brand that weren’t working and updated them. It added clarity and consistency – something that so many brands (and brand teams) are crying out for. And it amplified the most iconic, memorable element of the brand – the half-tone pattern – and made it live across livery, signage and merchandise.
Great brands don’t just live for five-year branding cycles. They live for decades. Holding on to them takes staying power, maturity, and sometimes the bravery not to change.