On 23 January 2017, in meetings held across the UK, leading arts education charity, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) revealed plans of a new visual identity – and new name – to its membership.
It was announced, that after the AGM in May 2017, The Arts Society will replace NADFAS as their new trading name. The announcement was met with much approval amongst those present, with many professing the new name to be “spot on”.
NADFAS is a global network of local art societies, with a deeply loyal membership of over 90,000. As the organisation approaches its 50th year, the member societies want a name and brand that more clearly represent who they are and what they do. There is a strong desire among members for the organisation to be more recognised and impactful within the cultural sector.
NADFAS Chief Executive, Florian Schweizer, comments:
“After 50 years, we needed to evolve to keep up with changing times in order to reach out to more people in more places.
The Arts Society isn’t a radical change though. We wanted something that better communicates who we are, what we do and what we mean to our members. A big part of that is social, hence: ‘Society’ and an even bigger part is the arts, thus: ‘The Arts’.”
NADFAS President, Loyd Grossman, adds:
“Over the past year I have followed the rebranding process with great interest. The outcome is a clear and confident brand with beautifully crafted visuals, which will help ensure the future of The Arts Society for the next 50 years and beyond.”
From April to September last year, branding agency Jane Wentworth Associates deeply and broadly researched the influences behind the organisation’s behaviours, motivations and ambitions. Their research uncovered an organisation with one overarching strength – its people, joined together by a passion for the arts, whose work creates a better, healthier and more connected society.
The team at Jane Wentworth Associates, led by Consultant Jo Marsh with Creative Director Jim Sutherland of Studio Sutherl&, set about the daunting task of creating a flexible brand that works for the organisation’s local societies and volunteering disciplines, as much as for the Association.
The solution is a brand that is based on one shared name and identity whilst enabling local interpretation and application. The new brand reflects and communicates the local and regional communities whilst creating a greater sense of belonging to one organisation.
The name – The Arts Society – is seen by many within the organisation as a logical and natural progression from the current lengthy and opaque name. It communicates more accurately the broad nature of the lecture topics which now incorporate all the arts, and makes a strong statement about the organisation’s role in the community and wider society. It is also a name that was put forward by many of the members.
The monogram, with interlocking A and S, communicates a value at the heart of the organisation; that it connects people to the arts and to each other. The monogram is designed by Studio Sutherl& from a typeface called Plantin and was further refined by Yorkshire lettering artist Charles Stewart to create a unique and bespoke design with a classic and timeless look.
The colour purple communicates in a positive way and has power to uplift, instil confidence and encourage creativity. The new colour palette also incorporates blue, pink and a neutral grey.
The new brand will be officially adopted by the Association at the AGM on 17th May 2017, and by local societies soon after.
National Chairman, June Robinson, reassures members:
“Even though we’ll look and sound a little different, we will still offer the same services: through our excellent lectures we will provide welcoming opportunities for our members to discover and connect to the arts and each other. We will also ensure that heritage has a future through conservation and preservation, and we’ll continue to support the skills of tomorrow’s artists and makers.
The belief that the arts are essential to enriching people’s lives will always be at the very heart of who we are.”