New visual identity for the Science Museum
- New brand unveiled at opening of Science Museum’s Illuminating India season
- Shared visual identity to be rolled out across all museums in Science Museum Group
The Science Museum has revealed its new visual identity at the launch of its Illuminating India season of exhibitions and events celebrating global scientific advancement.
Developed by award-winning design company North, the new brand aims to bring a visual cohesion to the Science Museum Group whose five museums share an astonishingly diverse collection spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
Illumination is a central feature of the new identity, explored both through the changing font weight in the new logo and the use of vibrant colour gradients elsewhere within the graphic language. For the Science Museum the illuminated font suggests change and progress; at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, it evokes the rise of technologies such as photography that manipulate our emotions with light; at the National Railway Museum, York, and Locomotion in Shildon, the approach could capture that visceral moment when a great plume of steam envelops onlookers as the Flying Scotsman thunders past at lightning speed; and at the Museum of Science and Industry, illumination could conjure the ideas and pioneering industry that made Manchester both the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and a hub of innovation today.
Striking new imagery celebrates the intricate beauty of objects within the collection, which the Group harnesses in the biggest educational programme of its kind in Europe to inspire the scientists, engineers, mathematicians and innovators of the future. North worked closely with all the museums in the group to develop a new shared brand mission and values based on the idea of inspiring futures; aligning the institutions in their purpose and direction.
Sean Perkins, Founding Partner of North, said: “In developing the new identity, we drew on the innovation and inspiration that personifies the work both of the Science Museum and the wider group. Just as the museums explore the ingenuity behind scientific advance, so we set out to create a brand that was both beautiful and innovative.”
The brand was first deployed in Bradford as part of the relaunch of the National Science and Media Museum and, over the next 12 months, the identity will be rolled out across the other museums in the group; the Museum of Science of Industry in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham.
Science Museum Group Deputy Director Jonathan Newby said: “We are the world’s leading group of science museums, but our existing, disparate brands do nothing to celebrate our shared values. North have created a confident and elegant visual identity that proudly projects our unity yet will allow each museum to continue to express its different focus.
“Through collaboration, our museums in Bradford, London, Manchester, Shildon and York are achieving more than ever, as exemplified by last week’s announcement that Tim Peake’s Soyuz spacecraft will spend at least two months at all of our museums as part of a UK-wide tour.”
In tandem with North’s design work, leading web agency Numiko has developed a new web ecosystem for the Science Museum Group that adopts the shared visual identity and introduces a common architecture that will help visitors to make the most of their museum visit, support research into the collections and provide resources for educators and learners.
David Eccles, Founder and Director of Numiko said: “In replacing the group’s end-of-life online web estate, our brief was to develop a new architecture and visitor experience that made the most of the synergies that exist across the five museums. What’s exciting about an implementation across several museums over a year is that it has greatly increased the opportunities for user testing and post-launch enhancements; each site is benefitting from what we’re learning as we go."
The shared visual identity will be adopted across all digital and physical visitor touchpoints at the Science Museum in the coming months, including uniforms and merchandise.
Note to editors
About the Science Museum Group
The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our diverse collection. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at group.sciencemuseum.org.uk.
North are an independent, London-based design office founded in 1995. We partner with national and international organisations to build inspirational identities and brands that achieve business success and have transformational effects on organisations. Our core specialism of brand identity encompasses many other key design services including wayfinding, packaging, campaigns, animation, digital and brand strategy. The three North partners are professionally accredited as part of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). www.northdesign.co.uk
Numiko is an award-winning digital agency, solving problems for its clients through user research, design and technology. We regularly work on large-scale projects for leading entertainment, arts, cultural, public sector, third sector and higher education organisations clients such as Blue Cross, Nesta, Design Council, Channel 4 and Goldsmiths University. For more information on our work and services please visit: www.numiko.com.