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Visual Identity – Consistency

I heart consistency in visual branding. Why? We all know why consistency is important

Audience Recognition

Brands you are most familiar with are those that has a simple logo, striking colour/ font, and have been using the logo everywhere consistently. Usually they are also located in the same place etc etc.  These are usually successful brands. I am sure at least 70% of you would know this even though it is only 20% of the logoguess the logo

Where would it usually be found on its product or advertisements? Is it on the top left hand corner?

Why is Audience Recognition importance, because recognition = awareness. Don’t we all want to increase people’s awareness of our museum? We all want people to know that we exist? We want to be in people’s mind, specially when it comes to thinking about a place to visit or spending their time.

I love V&A as a museum, so I was rather disappointed to find a downloadable material that does not have its logo on it, whereas everything else has at least its logo. Is there any specific reason for it?

Consistency of Visual Identity V&A

1. V&A facebook page, 2. V&A diary 2012 3.V&A site map 4.V&A teacher’s resources


Is it a rebranding? museums context

Apple Logo Evolution

Apple Computers Evolution

One of my pet peeves is when people kept saying they have just done a re-branding of their organisation, and when you asked them what they have done, they would say “Our logo is now orange with a bit more swish into it”


Re-branding is about allowing your brand to evolve with time, development and the need of your audiences.

It is not just changing your logo, colours and other ‘look and feel’ – Changing your logo and colours is just a refresh of your Visual Identity.

Re-branding = Changing or developing your offering as a museum, this includes the attitude of your staff, perhaps even the vision of the museum, the orientation of your museum, positioning in the market.  In a marketing jargon is about looking at a different approach of your 5 P’s: People, Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Some organisations even create a Brand Standards; the document specify for examples: the greeting staff must give to customers when they first arrive, when they leave, how many soap each toilet needs to have and specific brand of soap, and on and on and on.Sure, changing colours and logo contributes could contribute towards the re-branding, but it does not necessarily completes it. You need to conduct a research on your audiences, competitor, market; then make a strategic decision on where do you want to move forward to and so forth, to re-brand your museum.

For example:

You want your museum to be esteemed as an environmentally friendly museum. So to re-brand your self you change your logo from Red to Green. However your staff is seen to the public to not recycle, or you print a lot of marketing materials or your cafe don’t serve organic food and so forth. Would changing the colour help you to be seen as an environmentally friendly museum?

What do you think would have more impact to your brand, if you want to be a family friendly museum?

A logo with illustrated/cartoon character of it or regularly having activities for children and have a baby changing facility?

Have you done any re-brand? or a change of visual identity lately? Did it create any impact? Does people think of you differently? How different?

Google Indoor Maps – would it be useful for museums?

After talking a bit about map/floor plans for the museum, suddenly this came about. Is it a premonition? or do I work for Google? (No, I wish though)

Before you get too excited, like everything that Google does it always starts in US, so at the moment it is not yet available for other parts of the world. Would it ever be?  Google blog said this:

And this is just the start–we’ll continually add new indoor maps to public buildings across the world.

So, hopefully soon.

I think about all the museums I have been in, quite a few are housed in old buildings which has been modified or even was design to have different rooms, passages etc, almost like a labyrinth. I have heard staff would comment “This place is like rabbit warren, it is confusing so I better walk you through”. I have heard similar comments about going to IKEA “You are always lost in an IKEA, they make you go through everything just to find the pillow” and then another would say “ooh, but there is always a secret way in the middle where you can cut through”. So I think if IKEA is using it, museums could definitely make a use of it.

After all it adds having this floor plan will help with

  1. Increasing accessibility
  2. Perhaps cutting back the amount of printed maps = more considerate to the environment

I can see however, that it might scare some people off as it did with Google maps about privacy and security.  Also there are museums that are located in secluded areas or has underground galleries, so I wonder whether the app would work in these places. What do you think about this? What other use would this map have? Perhaps when planning an exhibition/events?

Digital Media Empowerment in Museums

This talk by Chris Bangle at one of Creative Morning London made me think about museums and audiences, and museum marketing professional and digital media.

He talked about empowerment, encouraging designers to allow development through empowering others. Not to just feed others with good design but allowing others to design. I think museums have been doing a lot of  this through engagements with their audiences; young people, families, etc

Projects for example allowing young people to choose objects for our exhibitions, arts project encouraging local community  and many more.

But then he talked about designers being the ELITE, that there is a sense of ELITIST that only those who have gone through a design degree could design, etc. That 2000 years ago only the elite could read and write, therefore only a few could access information.

The museums world used to be elitist, that only white, upper middle class, well-educated people dwell in this world. Not anymore of course, there are many programmes museums do to encourage diversity for example the Museum Association – Diversify; a programme that offers people from ethnic minorities, from less affluent backgrounds, or with disabilities bursaries to study museums studies, and other similar programmes run to encourage this empowerment.

Which are brilliant, and so much of what Chris Bangle said that the Museums world have commendably actually done in empowering others.

However, are we still Elitist in terms of knowledge, knowledge of the digital media specially? Looking through discussions about museums and digital media it has been the same people or people from the same area of work (marketing, audience development). Have we shared enough with others? Have we encouraged/empowered others in our museums to use digital media in their work? Have we shared our knowledge to other museums that has less, in terms of budget and time? After all, are we not in world of openness, where crowdsourcing, open-source is common? Why are we not treating this knowledge the same way?

How many of us could say honestly that the other teams in our museums or even the director understands about the importance and the workings of digital media? How many people in your museum knows about the wonderous Hootsuite or QR codes or PPC campaigns? Do you they need to know?

It would be good to know whether you are sharing with others in your museum. If you are how do you do it? I find it rather difficult as some people has the tendency to block off digital things because they think its to complicated. Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

What to wear to a Museum Exhibition

What to wear to a museum exhibition

On the subject of Contemporary Collecting, I thought this concept from ASOS could be used in a museum setting. Or perhaps they have? Do you know any museum that provides this? collections gathering to make some kind of a mood board?

I am sure you have all seen this, but if you have not, ladies, if you do want some inspiration on “what to wear to a Museum exhibition” have you seen this?

ASOS: What to Wear: Museum Exhibition  Although I am not really sure about the second row furthest to the right, selection of outfits, do you really need 4 sets of underwear and shoes to go to a museum exhibition? Or am I missing something?

I would really expect ASOS to team up with the Tate or V&A to publicise something.

Happy Weekend!

New Tate Souvenirs covered by Print &Pattern


I have been following Print & Pattern since  2007, absolutely love the blog. Even if you don’t know anything about illustration or design, you can’t not love this blog. It has been a source of a lot of ideas when I am producing marketing materials for the museums.

Here she blogs about new Tate Souvenir at Tate Modern.

Curating Contemporary + Traditional Collection on blogs

Everyone is a curator now – there is a lot of debate on whether the word is properly used online, such as what Anne Kingston said:

The verb “curate” has become such an overworked—and distorted—marketing buzzword, it’s now in need of curation itself.

and Noah Briar said:

The newest one is curation. I’m a bit less sure about this, but I have a feeling that all these people throwing it around are using it incorrectly.

But I say, why not? why not let people curate what they want to ? to take care of what they like or to select what they like or have affinity to?

If we are worried about no one gate keeping the objects selected, or that people might forget those objects from the past, perhaps we should encourage the comparison of current object and museums object.

The idea came from one of design and fashion blogs, OhJOY, and the exhibition by Grayson Perry, where he curated British Museum’s object with his own artwork. Contemporary Collecting, which is what most design blogs are collecting and curating items that are interesting for them. I thought it would be interesting to do this with museum objects on this blog.

British Museum – Lyon, France, around AD 1630   Clock-watch with calendar and alarm by Jean Vallier

and Accessorize – UK,  November 2011, Grandfather Clock Collar – £15 .

Clock Watch from AD 1630

British Museum

And look at what is inside the clock.

Of course the watch from AD 1630 is beautiful and intricate. With images of Apollo and 9 Muses.

This watch, with its unusual case design, finely engraved decoration, striking, calendar and alarm, possibly represents the best that money could buy at the time.

Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan

The museum is smaller than I first thought. Even the map looks bigger than it is, and to me it is more a library than a museum.

Ticket= 800 yen =£6

It had most of the manga that has ever published in japan. It also has a room full of a sample of manga books that has been translated to different languages. Then in one of the room that is full ceiling to ceiling with mangas, there are panels explaining the history of manga, the process involved in producing and the life of a Mangaka.

The museum is situated in an ex school building, so the old headmaster (aka Kouchou) room is preserved for ex-students to visit. When I visited there was an activity called Kamishibai (a form of japanese storytelling). The storyteller wore a traditional dress and was very animated. The children seemed captivated – it is a shame that my Japanese is conversational.

The shop was small, but it had a few good English books on manga.

A little quirk about Japanese museums is they provide stamps, so that you can stamp your book to prove that you have been there.

  • Website: Japanese style website – I am surprise generally with Japanese website, their navigation and their design, seems to be lacking even though one would think that they are highly advanced in technology – am I missing something?? Anyone?
  • Printed materials: Map + brief description and  a separate sheet to explain a bit more, it seems that they also have a yearly pass. And they do however have a cute Icon character
  • Facilities: N/A – didn’t use any
  • Events and Activities: there is a colouring your own statue – I’m not sure where the link is really
  • Exhibition:N/A – doesn’t seem to have anything special
  • I wish: I can read Japanese and can spend more time reading the Manga
  • Audiences: a must for Otaku’s, but generally there other things you can visit in Kyoto
  • Overall the museum: gets 2 stripes – for good collection but not really telling much of a story.

Visited in 2010

China Comic and Animation Museum – Must Go List

Visual Rendering of the inside of the museum of China Comic and Animation Museum

@MVRDV visual rendering

Wow! I want to be in the Caucus Race of this one. 30,000 square metres, inspired by bubble speech, and will have boat tours coming out of it. This is immense!

I want to know:

  1. When will the project actually start in 2012?
  2. When will it be finished?
  3. Would the main collection be all the comic from all over the world or would it concentrate in Chinese ones?

This looks huge and probably 1000x the size of the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Japan. This reminds me to talk about that visit. Coming up next review on Kyoto International Manga Museum.

Grayson Perry at British Museum

The Rosetta Vase from the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

Infographic on a vase

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman exhibition

The exhibition displays Perry’s thoughts process of why and how he chose the objects and those that he created. I think although his thoughts are perhaps not really new even though in some part it sounded unreal, he managed to articulate things really clearly which makes the objects interesting. The exhibition also showed that perhaps actually, people around the world are not too dissimilar and throughout the time, they haven’t change that much.

  • Favourite Object: You Are Here Vase – It featured who visits the exhibition. Audience Segmentation on a Vase – How can you not like it? I’ll talk about it in another post
  • Favourite label: Magick – part of the quote said:’… Sometimes our very human desire for meaning can get in the way of having a good experience of the world…”
  • Object I wished I thought of: None
  • Other things I noticed: the main vase that has been used on all the publication – Rosetta Vase– looks like infographic on a vase *I think we should encourage having infographics on everything. (@.@) I think I can be friend with Alan Measles, as we are rather similar.
  • Overall rating: 3 Stripes– interesting enough but would not say that it is brilliant

Have you seen it? What do you think about it? What makes it good what makes it uninteresting?

Next Up – Printed marketing material of the exhibition..