I’m a huge fan and dedicated member of the UK’s National Trust.
Founded in 1895, with the aim of saving the nation's heritage and open spaces. 118 years later, it’s still working hard to uphold those values.
Europe’s largest voluntary conservation organisation, the Trust looks after historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests, farmland, moorland, islands, castles, nature reserves, villages... and pubs. And then rather crucially opens them for people to visit.
The Trust has something of an unfair reputation as a bastion of conservatism but in fact its actually always been a pretty progressive organisation. It’s Founder, Octavia Hill was a tireless social reformer whose influence can be felt in the streets of Marylebone and Southwark in the housing she managed, just as on Hampstead Heath and in the Lake District it can be felt in the open spaces she protected. The Trust emerged from her fundamental conviction that the poor deserved equal cultural and aesthetic opportunities as the rich, but that people had also to put the effort in.
The Trust continues to play an important role in democratising access to the UK’s built and natural environment and there’s little that unites quite so may people in the UK as their affection for a day at a Trust owned stately home or Trust managed beach.
So the modernising continues with the redesign of the Trust’s packaging for their entire retail range. The designer’s – Studio h - brief was to refresh public perception and bring coherence to a hugely diverse product range.
With over 3.8 million members, 18 million visitors a year and 250 gift shops, it was important that the redesign was engaging and contemporary whilst reflecting their culture and heritage.
I love what they’ve come up with, which really seems to capture what I feel is the spirit of the trust and its work.