News / Graphic Design

North evolves Tate identity to be more adaptable


North has updated Tate’s visual identity with a redrawn logo and new typographic design. The agency has moved the whole of Tate — including all four galleries and the digital space — to one logo instead of multiple logo variations, simplifying the branding to adapt to a range of media. 

“We wanted to create one logo which was still recognisably Tate but could be used more dynamically and exist more effectively in the digital world,” explains Stephen Gilmore, partner at North. This also means each gallery name can be communicated more clearly, untied from the “logo lock-up.” The existing typeface Tate Pro will remain, but only in two weights and an all-caps setting for headlines. All Tate communications will carry the new identity, with a colour palette chosen from the Tate Members commission by Martin Creed, which will be refreshed every few years with a new artist.

The agency were approached to review the existing identity last year, and chose not to redesign but “evolve” the branding because starting from scratch wasn’t necessary. “For us to propose getting rid of the identity system entirely would be irresponsible and a selfish act as designers,” says Jeremy Coysten, also a partner at the agency.

The original branding was created by Wolff Olins to coincide with the opening of the Tate Modern in 2000. This refresh has been rolling out from January this year, culminating with the launch of the new Tate Modern building, Switch House, an extension to the original Boiler House building, which opened on Friday 17 June.