Pentagram and Nomad’s Natural History Museum rebrand aims to inspire a new generation of nature lovers
With a brand strategy from Heavenly agency, the studios have joined forces on an accessible identity that features motion, circular formations and natural imagery.
- Olivia Hingley
- 19 July 2023
To mark its 150th anniversary, London’s Natural History Museum has undergone a full rebrand, carried out by Marina Willer’s Pentagram Team, Nomad Studio and with a brand strategy from Heavenly agency. The more contemporary visual look – filled with circular forms, motion assets and sound reactive animations – is one that aims to maintain existing audiences while attracting younger audiences. Importantly, the rebrand also marks a mindset shift for the organisation “from passive catalogue to active catalyst, creating advocates for the planet”, a press release explains.
Sitting at the core of the rebrand are circular patterns and word rings, composed of an acronym of the museum’s name. Replicating a ripple effect pulsating from the centre in a three colour palette, there is one that symbol that “references our planet and the universal connection between everything in nature” and “the energy and positivity that reflects the Museum’s mission to become an agent for change”, says the release.
Motion features heavily throughout the identity. The spinning effect on the new logo helps to bring it to life and make it “instantly recognisable”. Elsewhere, the motion takes four “nature-inspired” roots: ripple, grow, pulsate and orbit. What’s more, a series of sound-reactive animations – walking dinosaurs and jumping dodos – add a “joyful and expressive element”, celebrating the museum’s popular creatures. These elements are all finished off with a vibrant palette, aiming to reflect the vast diversity of colour in the natural world.
The typeface featured throughout the circular motion assets and identity as a whole is NHM Wallop, which was created especially for the identity. A custom version of Displaay Type Foundry’s Wallop, the type was chosen for its straightforward and comprehensive nature, “to reflect a brand that’s accessible and inclusive”, a press release outlines. “It was imperative for the museum that the new brand identity would be accessible so there was internal consultation with staff with lived experience of neurodiversity, sight loss and dyslexia – and an external accessibility consultant worked to ensure the visual identity and font are accessible for the widest possible audience.”
“It was such an honour to be chosen for this project and a great experience to work with the team at the Natural History Museum,” says Marina Willer. “The climate crisis means that we’re at a critical time, and encouraging the next generation to become advocates for the planet is more important than ever. We hope that our new brand identity will help many more people to engage with the vital work that the Museum does.”
GalleryPentagram & Nomad: Natural History Museum (Copyright © Pentagram & Nomad, 2023)
Pentagram & Nomad: Natural History Museum (Copyright © Pentagram & Nomad, 2023)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.