Established in 1873 and located on the historic Leuvehaven harbor in Rotterdam, the Maritiem Museum, as its name suggests is a maritime museum dedicated to the naval history of the city, one of the largest ports in the world. Right outside of the museum was also, separate, the Het Havenmuseum (Port Museum) dedicated to the history of the port. At the end of last year, the two museums merged, keeping the Maritiem Museum name and introducing a new identity designed by local firm Taken by Storm.
The previous two logos were naively charming: The Maritiem’s “M” wading in a body of water and the Havenmuseum looking like a game of hangman. Both had good and clear intentions and actually succeeded in communicating what the museums were about but they were not the most pleasant of logos. The new logo is a whimsical wordmark that fuses a minimalist abstraction of “sea” through the use of the wave shapes with the “M”. It’s such a simple idea and it creates such an interesting wordmark. If I had one small complaint it would be that the “M”s feel a little droopy around the center. Nonetheless, I love the texture it creates visually and the playfulness it exudes.
In application, things are pretty simple: logo, lots of orange, and big, bold Proxima Nova. Perhaps there was an opportunity somewhere to bring in some wavy shapes into the mix to break the heaviness of some of the use of boxes — which I am guessing are meant to look like shipping containers. Overall, the visual tone is simple and the verbal playful, while all still looking institutional enough for a museum.