Frost Rebrands Historic Houses Trust as Sydney Living Museums

Frost Rebrands Historic Houses Trust as Sydney Living Museums

Frost* has collaborated with the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (HHT) to create a new brand to grow visitation and awareness of the leading cultural institution. The brand strategy, naming and identity work from the agency, represents a major brand overhaul for the HHT and has resulted in a new market-facing name and identity for the organisation.

The twelve properties managed by the Trust will be known as "Sydney Living Museums" in a move that promotes stronger understanding of their relationship as a collection of places that tell the story of living in Sydney.

The new brand follows extensive consumer research that demonstrated confusion with the National Trust and the purpose of the organisation under the current name. This also uncovered insights about the organisation's core target - active, social, highly educated people - who are seeking a more interactive and personal experience which links the past with their present.

Strategy Director Cat Burgess says the brand strategy revolves around tapping into the experience economy by creating opportunities for people to participate in living heritage rather than a passive, educational approach.

"The word 'Living' in the name refers not only to the curatorial focus of the Museums but also the types of experiences people can expect," Burgess said. "We realised there was a gap in the market for the organisation to become the curators of Sydney living and to engage with today's fascination around lifestyle."

The brand strategy and name is realised visually through a new identity, also created by Frost*. The mark centres on the idea of 'unlocking stories,' and draws on the key as a symbol of entry into other peoples' homes.

The logo crafts the letterforms into a monogram that resembles a key. This is used in conjunction with a stacked, typographic word mark, capitalised and drawn in the sans-serif font, Sofia Pro.

Vince Frost, founder and Executive Creative Director of Frost*, say the studio's expertise in creating brands for leading cultural and heritage institutions, including respected organisations such as the Sydney Opera House and the State Library of NSW, put them in good stead to lead this project, which it won in a competitive pitch.

"Cultural and heritage institutions today are competing with an ever growing array of entertainment options," Vince stated. "Strong, engaging, strategically positioned, contemporary brands are the key to maintaining relevance and visibility. Sydney Living Museums knew they needed to adapt in order to maintain a presence and grow visitation."

The twelve properties to be marketed under the new Sydney Living Museums umbrella brand, are Elizabeth Bay House, Elizabeth Farm, Government House, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Justice and Police Museum, Meroogal, Museum of Sydney on the site of first Government House, Rose Seidler House, Rouse Hill House & Farm, Susannah Place Museum, The Mint and Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Vaucluse House.