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London Science Museum: A Great Logo, Decoded

London Science Museum logo

Looking to attract a more sophisticated audience and re-energize its image, the London Science Museum launched a sleek new identity earlier this summer. But one question remains–can people even read their logo?

Comprised of letters resembling computer code stacked on top of each other, deciphering the new logo is no easy feat. But it seems that’s integral to the entire brand idea.

“After experimenting with several routes, the chosen idea stemmed from research we did on codes, puzzles, patterns, and basic digital typefaces,” said Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks in an interview with Creative Review. The new logo thus imparts a sense of discovery, science and computers, while also hinting at the cutting edge exhibits inside the museum’s walls.

But how can a logo that’s so hard to read work so successfully? Does it really adhere to best practices for logo design? Well, let’s work through the basic logo design checklist to find out. Is it:

  • Simple? The streamlined type, block formation, and single color actually make this logo deceptively simple.
  • Memorable? This unique style definitely sets the London Science Museum apart from competitors.
  • Timeless? Johnson notes that a test group participant called the concept “binary, modern, and classical at the same time.”
  • Versatile? From images of outdoor signage and typeface explorations, it seems to be working well in multiple environments, large and small scale.
  • Appropriate? It certainly screams science, even if you can’t read it.

And there you have it–a great logo, decoded.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted July 19, 2010 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Although it really touches all those lines - simplicity, memorable and so on - I do not like it. :)
    But it is just a matter of taste.

  2. Posted July 19, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    In this case I found the logo quite complicated to read, figure out how it will look like if the need to print in a really small format…or in a huge one.

    The main idea is good but in my opinion a lot of work is missing to consider it finished.

    Regards,

  3. Lotfi Bouhadjeur
    Posted July 20, 2010 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    this logo is NOT hard to read at all.

  4. Posted July 23, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I think the new logo has done what it has supposed to almost a retro feel, and its a major leap from the previous logo it had. It may mean many things to different people without being overly specific about one aspect of science over another which is better than having the usual cliché of lab coats and test tubes.

  5. Posted July 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    good job

  6. Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I always motivated by you, your opinion and way of thinking, again, appreciate for this nice post.

    - Murk

  7. litmon
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Well written! Your blog truly compels me to come back for more. You did a good job with it yet again. I like the way you stylized it this time, choosing the most appropriate theme to go by. Hope to see more such stuff soon.

    Graphic Design Company Toronto

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