National Portrait Gallery

A distinctly British campaign

Created a campaign that attracted a wider, ‘non-traditional’ audience

Overcame artwork copyright and usage limitations with a copy-led ‘type as graphic’ approach

Attracted over 50,000 visitors – the galleries most successful exhibition

The Canberra based National Portrait Gallery maintains the countries largest and most important collection of portraits. It’s permanent collection includes over 3000 artworks.

In early 2021 the gallery was scheduled to exhibit an extraordinary collection of artworks on loan from the British National Portrait Gallery. This once-in-a-generation event included artworks of iconic figures like William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela, David Bowie, and Amy Winehouse. This was the first time that some of these artworks would leave the United Kingdom. We were tasked to create a campaign to promote the exhibition.

The campaign centered around a flexible typographic device highlighting the diverse range of sitters rather than individual artworks – making the exhibition more relatable to a wider demographic. With a wry sense of humour and considered art direction the campaign made a strong, and distinctively British, impact.

The exhibition was the most successful in the galleries history. Drawing 50,144 visitors and generating $1,111,769 in ticket sales. Furthermore, the exhibition succeeded in attracting a broader audience, welcoming new donors, members, and partners.

Three street posters for the campaign
A large Shakespeare to Winehouse sign at the entry to the exhibition
Shakespeare to Winehouse ad on the NPG website
Digital ads for the exhibition

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To discuss how we can help you with your brand ambitions and challenges, please get in touch with our founder, Rachel Miles.