How Interbrand and QAGOMA forever changed the nature of arts branding






The Queensland Art Gallery Institution approached Interbrand to rebrand the galleries (QAG and GOMA) in light of recent successes -- including exhibiting Valentino in partnership with the Pompidou, exclusively in Australia. The Queensland Art Gallery Institution wanted to create brands that could comfortably align with their ambitions to sit on the world stage -- a stage with peers such as the MoMA in New York, the Tate in the UK and the Pompidou in Paris.

Like so many art galleries, the QAG and GOMA hadn’t created identities for themselves. They weren’t building a strong brand for the long-term. They were simply shells in which to exhibit art. The challenge, therefore, lay in two key questions:
- How can QAG and GOMA be elevated to a world-class arts brand?
- Are QAG and GOMA two separate brands or are they one unified brand?

It soon became clear to Interbrand that we were staring at a unique opportunity. Rather than two separate brands, we were faced with two siblings -- two distinct personalities and perspectives on art. Inspired by the idea of Yin and Yang, we united the two, removed the imbalance and instead created a brand from the best of both galleries. Driven by the brand idea ’Alone Together,’ we took the concept further by giving each gallery the opportunity to exist in the other’s space. Not only did this help to provide an even more compelling experience, but it also helped to cross-pollinate visitors. The execution of the idea was a brand identity driven by two personalities and a mark that united the two and reaffirmed the family connection.

The identity was deliberately moulded around corners, up steps, and on lift doors to not only to accentuate the different perspectives each could provide, but also to guide visitors around (and across) both galleries.

Essentially, the entire brand is concerned with creating debate and unearthing opinions. It provides a completely rounded perspective on art appealing to scholars, as well as the more casual school holiday visitors.

In partnering, Interbrand and The Queensland Art Gallery Institution changed the nature of arts branding. Art brands no longer need to have an identity system based on the architecture of their building. Instead, they should live and breathe; challenge and define. The new QAGOMA brand does exactly that -- it always has an opinion – two, in fact.