Re-imaging the visual identity for the 21st children's museum
Research, Ideation, Art Direction, Design
Paper, Pencil, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop
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
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.
Old BCM Logo
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.
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.
Through my research, I was able to understand the current position of BCM and some discover key areas of weakness.
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”.
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.
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.