First opened in 1931, Chester Zoo, located in Chester county in North West England, is one of the largest and most popular zoos in the UK. Located on 110 acres, Chester Zoo is home to over 7,000 animals and hosts 1.3 million visitors per year. In August, Chester Zoo introduced a new identity designed by Manchester-based Music.
Designing identities for zoos is more difficult than it might seem, having to balance between appealing to kids and the adults that take them there and finding a middle ground that is fun for the former but not eye-gouging for the latter. This new identity for Chester Zoo has great child appeal and just barely survives crossing into said eye-gouging territory for grown-ups. The highlight of the identity is the custom typeface and not because it’s that great — it’s not that much better or worse than all the 1990s hand-drawn stuff — but it has been put to perfect and smart use; it’s playful and honest and all the size and positioning variations give its use great dynamism. The logo itself isn’t particularly fetching or fun but as the more “corporate” extension of the identity it works well enough to establish it as the anchor for everything else. Overall, Music was able to deliver a very flexible identity that works not through a dozen different logos but in the attitude of its typography.