The London-based design firm was tasked with reinvigorating what has been described as “previously inconsistent and overlooked branding” of the RHS. “Despite the significant and lasting impact of the RHS’s work, their branding visually lacked pride and presence with other UK heritage organizations and needed to feel more inclusive to a wider audience,” explains Design Bridge.
To counter this, the agency worked with the concept of ‘The Boundless Miracle of Growth’ and took this positive sentiment as inspiration for the entire brand renewal. “We wanted to enable the charity to tell its story clearly and convincingly, help it stand out from the crowd and raise awareness of its work,” added Design Bridge.
The agency admits the project has been a “true collaboration” from the get-go, working with the team at the RHS and collaborating with fellow WPP agency and partner, Wunderman-Thompson, whose focus has been on brand strategy and a disruptive brand campaign, ‘We Speak Plant’.
Over 12 months, the agency developed a new visual identity with a rich palette reflecting the different seasons and their different tones. Motion design also plays a big part, helping to capture the idea of ’growth’ and the fact that nature is never static. A distinctive illustration style was introduced that reflects 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, Rob Clarke’s accompanying typographic style adds a sense of confidence and expertise, yet is modern and distinctive through mixed fonts, inspired by the labeling of garden plants.
“We’ve created a cohesive design system that reflects the organization’s vast history while making the brand more appealing to today’s audiences,” said Tim Vary, Creative Director at Design Bridge. “Using the design idea of the transformative power of growth, we designed constantly evolving and transforming images. By combining textures, vibrant seasonal color palettes, and a mix of historic botanical illustrations and fonts alongside new moving images, we formed a design system that reflects past, present and future of the organization.”