Brand Identity

Boston Children's Museum

Re-imaging the visual identity for the 21st children's museum

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ROLE

Research, Ideation, Art Direction, Design

TOOLS

Paper, Pencil, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop 

DURATION

Jan - Apr 2018 (4 months)

"What we’re aiming to do with our children is to prepare them as best as possible from an intellectual standpoint, an emotional standpoint, and a social standpoint where they have the flexibility to adapt to whatever is thrown at them. 

— Parent at Boston Children's Museum

Defining the problem

Founded in 1913, the Boston Children’s Museum (BMC) is a child-centered en­vironment dedicated to fostering a life long love for learning, and the development of foundational skills through play. The museum engages its audience through exhibits that emphasizes hands-on learning and encourages children to indulge in curiosity, creativity and discovery. It is a place where ideas and materials meet to progress the teaching of science.

While the Museum is rapidly expanding and innovating their programs to meet the needs of the 21st century learner, the brand identity has not evolved with it. The goal of the re-design is to create a brand identity that reflected the organizational changes and attract the next generation of parents.

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Old BCM Logo

Research

In the beginning of the design process, I sought to get a better understanding of what the Boston Children’s Museum represented internally and to the public. I went to their website to analyze their mission statement, values and history. I also looked over their annual reports to gather insights about their audience, growth and future outlook.

Target Market

The primary target audience is children between the ages of two to fifteen years old. They are curious about how the world works and love exploring their environment. These kids have high energy and always ask their parents ‘why’ things are the way they are.
 
The secondary audiences are parents and childhood educa­tors. They are blue-collared workers who spend 40 hours a week at their job. The parents love spending time with their children and would try to take them to parks, sports centers and museums. They are constant­ly stressed about having to juggle between work and maintaining their child’s well being. Ideally, they want to take more time to en­gage with their children and see them grow.
 
Childhood educators are also an important part of the museum. They are teachers and learners. They thrive working with young children and loves helping them develop their sense of independence in the world. These educators not only enjoy teaching, but also enjoy learning new curriculum to bring to the children.

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SWOT Analysis

Through my research, I was able to understand the current position of BCM and some discover key areas of weakness. 


Strengths

  • Loyal customer base
  • Consistent growth in the amount of people going to BCM
  • Always developing new and interesting exhibits
  • Has over 50,000 artifacts in their exhibit, which helps enrich the learning experience

Weaknesses

  • Current brand fails to communicate the thrill, excitement and discovery of the childhood experience
  • Some of the areas in the museum feels outdated and old

Opportunities

  • Expanding into new areas of learning (STEAM)
  • Potential collaboration with other organizations to promote further brand awareness
  • Social Media Marketing has not been fully developed

Threats

  •  Some areas of the museum did not appear to be clean
  • There were objects that were broken, old, and rundown
  •  There was lots of space that was unused
Marketing Message

The key marketing message of BCM is to promote an enriching learning environment that allows children to explore, discover and innovate. The secondary message is to celebrate the love for life long learning through play. One word that would be used to describe the marketing message is “discovery”.

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Explorations

I started off by creating some sketches on potential variations of the BCM logo. After getting feedback from my peers, I further improved on the best variations. Then I narrowed down the designs to the top three that worked with the marketing message. From there, the final logo was selected.

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Creative Strategy

The creative strategy focuses on the idea of a child at play. Basic shapes are used as the ‘building blocks’ to form the letters “BCM”. They are versatile because children can create anything out of these shapes.  Semi-circles are the most frequently used shape because it represents ‘D’ for discovery. Primary colours were selected in the colour palette to symbolize the ability to create more colours through combination. Shapes are also used in mathematics, which is one of the programs they promote in the museum. Finally, the logo uses the golden ratio because it is commonly found in nature and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

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