The iconic Natural History Museum in London celebrated its 150th anniversary with a complete transformation of its brand image. The ambitious rebranding project was undertaken by a team of experts, including Marina Willer from Pentagram, Nomad Studio, and the agency Heavenly, responsible for the brand strategy. The result is a more contemporary approach aimed at retaining its current audience while attracting new generations of nature enthusiasts.
The central goal of the rebranding is to change the museum’s perception “from a passive catalog to an active catalyst, creating advocates for the planet,” according to a press release. The core of the new visual identity consists of circular patterns and word rings, formed by an acronym of the museum’s name. This symbol, radiating a wave effect in a three-color palette, references our planet and the universal connection between all things in nature. It also represents the energy and positivity that reflect the museum’s mission to become an agent of change.
Motion plays a significant role in the identity, with rotating effects and sound-reactive animations that bring the logo to life and make it easily recognizable. Additionally, four nature-inspired pathways (ripple, grow, pulsate, and orbit) have been incorporated into the design to add dynamism and expressiveness. The museum’s exciting features, such as dinosaurs and dancing dodos, have also been depicted in cheerful and expressive animations, celebrating the museum’s popular creatures.
Regarding typography, a new font called NHM Wallop was created specifically for the museum’s identity. This font was chosen for its simplicity and accessibility, reflecting an inclusive brand that can be appreciated by diverse audiences. The museum ensured that the new identity is accessible to a wide audience, conducting internal consultations with staff members living with neurodiversity, vision impairment, and dyslexia, as well as seeking advice from an external accessibility consultant.
This exciting rebranding aims to solidify the Natural History Museum in London as an active catalyst for change, inspiring new generations to become advocates for the planet. With a more contemporary approach and a dynamic visual identity, the museum hopes to retain its existing audience while attracting a new generation of nature lovers and science enthusiasts.