Matter Of Form worked closely with Tate to create a strategic plan that would enable the institution to launch an independent lithographic print venture.


Tate is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading art institutions, comprised of Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St. Ives and Tate Modern.

Founded in 1897, the institution was originally opened by Henry Tate (of Tate & Lyle). Since then, its footprint has expanded to include modern art as well as Tate branded products available via Tate Online.

Strategic Scope

Tate’s online commerce mixed general merchandise with higher value lithographic art prints. The latter is a high growth market — expected to increase by over 200% to 3.6bn by 2021; an opportunity Tate is in an paralleled position to capitalise on.

But given the level of trust required to purchase some of these higher value items, their existing product positioning sent mixed messages, and did not do the offering justice. Mixing souvenirs and expensive prints was understandably undermining the integrity of the sell. The opportunity to use Tate brand equity to encourage users to buy online was under-leveraged.

Matter of Form was commissioned to develop an innovation strategy and brand implementation approach, the goal of which was to enable the lithographic print offering to operate as an independent entity.


We created a four part strategic plan to present at board level; a solid business case for the initiative that demonstrated ROI, as well as an evaluation of the market opportunity and returns over a three year period. Our innovation strategy enabled the organisation to diversify its limited edition print distribution via a new brand framework, that sat congruously with their existing online offering.