The London Science Museum’s image and logo design has long since needed rebranding. Their old logo design (pictured below) was tired, dated and old. It was neither creative nor stunning and when printed on posters, it was quickly lost amidst the sea of posters that regularly litter London's streets. Quite aware of this need to rebrand themselves, near the end of 2009, the London Science Museum decided to team up with the popular London-based studio, Johnson Banks, to rework their brand image, identity and logo design.
Old logo design
The Johnson Banks studio was faced with quite a challenge. They were responsible for the major redesign and rebranding of a predominant and influential London institution. Luckily, they had been given specific directives to follow. The London Science Museum wanted a new logo design that appealed to a larger audience, both adults and children alike. In the past, the Museum had struggled with issues of recognition therefore, they wanted their new logo design to be unique, modern and creative so that it would help the museum stick out amongst all of the other museums in London.
Johnson Bank's creative director, Michael Johnson, said in an interview with the Creative Review that "the museum briefed us to search for a more sophisticated visual identity, to avoid the usual science clichés of test tubes and mad, white-lab-coated professors, whilst supplying more cut-though".
Last month, Johnson Banks and the London Science Museum finally released their new logo design. Here is what they came up with:
This new logo design for the London Science Museum is typography-based and it grew out of the simple concept that science is a field of study whereby discovery and decoding are commonplace. In that same vein, the new London Science Museum logo design also needs to be decoded by every viewer and every person may experience something different when reading the letters in their new logo design.
Along with the release of the new logo design, all of the banners outside the museum have also been replaced with new images that highlight their new logo design. The museum’s new branding will soon run throughout the entire museum and be printed on all of their promotional materials including their brochures, business cards and stationery design.
Here are some of the banners that are now seen outside of the museum itself:
The release of the museum's new logo design was met with both enthusiasm and adversity throughout the entire graphic design community. Some called the new logo design “strong, memorable and versatile” while others said that it was “horribly dated already”.
What do you think of this logo redesign?
I, for one, think that this new logo design is a vast improvement over their old logo design. I think that it is well considered and that it adheres to all of the desires that were set forth by the museum committee. I think that it is attractive, vibrant, distinctive and easily recognizable. I do however, have one complaint. I don't like the fact that their new logo design is so type dependent. Perhaps, they could have come up with something better if they had pursued another avenue. For example, something simpler might have been better or even the use of an symbol in their logo design. Regardless, I am quite anxious to see how their new image and logo design is develops and is promoted in the coming months and years.