Wordsworth Grasmere

The Wordsworth Trust

New name, tone of voice, brand and visual identity system


Nissen Richards Studio has created the new branding for Wordsworth Grasmere, encompassing the former Lake District home of the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy at Dove Cottage as well as the newly-expanded Museum on the site. Nissen Richards Studio also created the wayfinding and signage for this complex, multi-building location.

The Wordsworth Grasmere logotype seeks to preserve Wordsworth’s heritage and his innovative approach to poetry. The classic and the contemporary are brought together through bespoke characters initially inspired by Baskerville, the typeface designed by John Baskerville and used to print the first Wordsworth editions. The primary typeface is Soleil, an inclusive sans-serif based on modernist ideas of simplicity, clarity and reduction to essential forms. The identity is in a friendly and contemporary lower case, with GRASMERE capitalised in Sans Serif.

The logo’s unique ligature is inspired by a set of glyphs taken from the first edition of Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, forming part of an instruction from Wordsworth to his printer. The identity, designed to be as inclusive as possible and to appeal to a broad audience, also features a marque that suggests the stain of ink and the echo of handwriting. Each shape has a unique feel and has been created especially, with the colours of the identity inspired by the Lake District and paintings by English Romantic masters.

The new wayfinding system local slate, with slate-clad metal frames for larger, freestanding pieces. The wayfinding wording is an etched and ink-filled graphic in a Soleil Regular typeface, accompanied where necessary by images from a grid of consistent and easily-comprehensible pictograms.

The new brand that Nissen Richards Studio have designed for Wordsworth Grasmere perfectly captures the essence of Wordsworth’s legacy. It is contemporary and inspirational with a timeless feel and will be invaluable in helping us to shape a new identity for our organisation. We couldn’t be happier with it!’ said Emily Burnham, Marketing and Communications Manager at The Wordsworth Trust.


The Wordsworth Trust


Grasmere, the Lake District, UK



Other roles on the project

Exhibition Design
Graphic Design