With roots back to 1923 and numerous name changes that include Museum van den Arbeid (“Museum of Labor”), Nederlands Instituut voor Nijverheid en Techniek (“Dutch Institute of Labor and Technology”), newMetropolis, and Science Center Nemo, the newly renamed NEMO Science Museum is, as its name now clearly implies, a science museum in Amsterdam housed in a Renzo Piano-designed building since 1997. Apart from being a hands-on, interactive museum to learn about science and technology, NEMO has a permanent collection of approximately 17,000 artifacts that “tell the story of humankind and energy in its broadest sense: from the parlograph to the Walkman.” As it goes through a renovation, NEMO has introduced a new identity that ties the museum with the parent organization and its activities, designed by Studio Dumbar.
The old logo was a redrawing by EdenSpiekermann of an older logo designed by Anthon Beeke at the time when the Renzo Piano building opened so, of course, the logo was a representation of the architecture (along with some wild typography). Logos that represent buildings are rarely good or engaging and it feels like the organization stands more for its physical presence than for what’s inside. I’m not sure if the new logo screams SCIENCE for the museum but it’s a start. The square of squares logo has a super duper extra bold presence with its large letterforms and neon green accents that maybe make you think of slime or goo and therefore of science. The abstract “O” starts to hint at a sense of exploration and discovery and if you really wanted to read into it, the letterforms going edge to edge could be about discovering what’s possible through science and pushing the boundaries. If none of this is relevant, then at least it really is a bad-ass logo.
Brief applications but with plenty of potential. Those banners look absolutely great. The multi-color approach on what appears to be wrapping paper extends the vibe of the identity into something more psychedelic while holding its appeal.
The first campaign with the new identity promotes a free exhibit on the museum’s roof about energy. Conceived and designed by KesselsKramer, the content is clever and interesting but I feel like it does a disservice to the logo by being visually similar in using primary colors and geometric shapes but not complementing the logo naturally. It’s like using two similar sans serifs in the same layout. The logo works best when it stands out significantly as on their website against photographs and even with the attached blocks for text. Overall, moving away from a building-specific logo is a great move and this logo and initial identity manage to capture the excitement and intrigue of a science museum.
Thanks to Meinder Verheggen for the tip.