From a Roman settlement to the residence of the Bishops of London and a World War II hospital, Fulham Palace has been a site of significance for centuries. A £3.8 million restoration project spotlighted the need to rethink how the Palace positions its multifaceted offer, to drive visitor engagement and secure its place as an impressive heritage attraction.
The Palace is on a journey to discover its vast 6000 years of history, and several Neolithic findings have revealed that there is still much to unearth. The in-house team commissioned us to create a new brand that would tell this story to the public, inviting them to join the Palace in uncovering its rich heritage as a newly renovated and more visible visitor attraction. It was important to make the brand accessible to a wide audience: not only is it a family-oriented museum, learning centre and thirteen-acre botanical garden, it is also an idyllic venue for weddings and civil ceremonies.
A key issue for the brand was that the name ‘Fulham Palace’ was not working hard enough to communicate the physical spaces that sit at the heart of the offer. We recommended the addition of ‘House & Garden’ to the name to reflect the connected nature of the site, as the historical significance of the Palace is linked not only to the building itself but also to the beautiful gardens and the riverbank beyond.
A brand audit, online survey and a series of stakeholder interviews allowed us to determine what makes the Palace unique: the breadth and depth of its story. Unlike most historic homes that capture a fixed period of time, Fulham Palace House & Garden’s heritage is overlapping and ever-evolving.
We developed a new strategic framework around the central brand idea of ‘Revealing Time’, creating an identity that captures the excitement and wonder of uncovering history through ‘layers of time’. This layering runs through every aspect of the brand – through colour, typography, illustration and language. These elements work both separately and in unison to make the most of the brand across all channels and touchpoints, offering opportunity and flexibility to dial the brand up and down where its needed.
An important element of the brand identity is the complementary language and tone of voice and guidance that we created. An element of which is a linguistic device for brand-level language formed over three lines, reiterating our concept of layering. The overall guidance for language is that it should be concise, informative, punchy and accessible for all ages.
We developed a photographic style to capture the essence of ‘revealing’ through depth of focus and interesting composition. The style is warm and inviting, showcasing the breadth of spaces visitors can explore both inside the Palace and throughout the extensive gardens.
Design Culture was also commissioned to design and build a vibrant, reimagined, responsive website to manifest the new brand. Our aim was to create an engaging digital space with an optimal user experience, the primary end goal being to increase visitor numbers to the Palace.
The finished result is a website that brings Fulham Palace House & Garden’s past and present together through visually appealing informative material, highlighting all that’s on offer for users, whether they are a family seeking a weekend event, an individual looking to explore the grounds and relax in the café, or a researcher interested in the history of the Palace.
Landing pages for each section of the website bring the most important content to the fore creating clear and simple user journeys. The website offers a comprehensive What’s On section detailing a full programme of upcoming events tagged by category, easy access to essential information for users on route to the Palace, well structured content on both the house and the gardens, and clear calls to actions asking users to Get Involved with the Palace, make a donation or sign up to the newsletter.
The website has been built on the WordPress content management system and the back end had been fully optimised for ease of use by the internal staff who will manage the website going forward.
Visit the new site here.
Elizabeth Bishop Marketing Project Manager Fulham Palace Trust
Design Culture's collaborative approach to web design and their understanding of both our current and future needs have resulted in a website that is not only beautiful and a true reflection of our new visitor offer and brand, but one that also incorporates the flexibility we need for it to grow along with the organisation.