Established in 2006 in Dallas, TX, the Museum of Nature & Science is the sum of The Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place, and the Dallas Children’s Museum that came together that year. In January of 2013, the museum will be relocated to a new building and be renamed as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The new identity, inspired by Morphosis Architects’ cube-shaped building, was designed by Pentagram partners DJ Stout and Michael Bierut.
“While the globe within the brackets will be the Museum’s institutional logo mark, the new logo is actually a rarely-been-seen-before dynamic logo,” said Hook while using audio-visual examples to illustrate the concept. “The Perot Museum will have the flexibility to switch out the content within the brackets and fill it with innumerable images, reflecting a multitude of science topics and an array of Museum programs, services and collections.”
The previous identity wasn’t terribly memorable and suffered some rather uncomfortable kerning, but this is less a redesign and more of a new branding exercise for an entirely new museum and organization. It is hard to find the new identity to be a “rarely-been-seen-before dynamic logo,” especially on the museum landscape (consider Portland Art Museum and Asia to name a couple). Conceptually, this mark makes a lot of sense, but in practice it feels less inspired by the contemporary architecture of Thom Mayne and more by Kit Hinrich’s (of whom I’m a great admirer) design direction for @issue — there is beauty in it but the aesthetic achieved through the use of Caslon and the various graphic elements feels dated. There are some promising examples within the collateral created but unfortunately the primary lock-up feels the most unresolved in visual weight and composition. This identity’s success or failure will be seen as it is rolled out across many contexts of use.