Elite doesn’t have to mean elitist

‘Art for arts sake’ is no longer an acceptable motivation for leading cultural institutions. Shifting expectations and increasing scrutiny are leading many cultural organisations to rethink both their approach to art and how they present themselves.

Here are a few of the principles NB has used to help cultural institutions adapt and thrive in challenging times:

Proactively shift perceptions
Classical music is intimidating. Most people just don’t think it’s for them.

When NB rebranded the Philharmonie Luxembourg, we set about actively debunking the perceived barriers to entry, helping the brand shed the inaccessible trappings of a classical concert hall. Instead, the new visual identity amplifies the emotion and excitement of live performance.

The impact has been immediate – for the first time the Philharmonie is seeing engagement with younger audiences.

Think beyond your loyalists
Birmingham Royal Ballet started on the back of trucks, taking ballet into underprivileged communities after the war. But in 2020, the brand wasn’t reaching outside its small group of loyalists.

Together with the new artistic director Carlos Acosta, NB brought Birmingham Royal Ballet back to its adventurous roots with a new brand idea: ‘taking ballet places it’s never been before’.

Since then, the brand has been engaging audiences you’d never before have associated with ballet.

Make your audience creative collaborators
To secure its future, the off-broadway institution Vineyard Theatre knew it needed to forge a stronger connection with the community. So NB made its visual identity as collaborative as its theatre. We positioned Vineyard’s audiences, sponsors and the local community as active participants in every show.

This ethos influenced the design of the ever-changing wordmark – it’s remade for each new play by a New York designer.

Because of its commitment to the local community, Vineyard has recently won a $4.5 Million grant by The New York State Council for the Arts. We can’t wait to see what they do with it…

Democratise excellence
In the past few months, NB has been working closely with the one of the world’s leading ballet and opera companies. We’ve been exploring how the brand can become a platform for opportunity and throw its doors open to new audiences. Watch this stage…