Smithsonian Dynamic Identity
The problems associated with the old identity are that the name Smithsonian is commonly heard in Washington D.C. but isn’t widely known that almost all of the museums in the city are collectively a part of a large institution for cultivating knowledge. Our solution is to give them all have a common characteristic, which serves as the the ‘Smithsonian’ part of the identity but to also give enough space to highlight the uniqueness of each sector.
My team and I wanted to create brand that innovations and improves viewer’s experience across latest technological advances and resources at the Smithsonian by using more contemporary, adventurous design and environments that speak to viewers across all ages.
The idea is that anyone who is going to a Smithsonian museum will now know that their museums are a part of a greater network. Each museum has varying characteristics and with our new identity.
Concept & Mark
While we kept the concept of the original Smithsonian logo, we simplified the design and adjusted the letter spacing for visual consistency, giving the final product a sleeker appearance.
We created a bespoke symbol for each of the Smithsonian Institute’s 6 categories — education, exhibition, zoo, research center, cultural center, and events. Each element was inspired by the sector it was designed for. These graphic elements would then be super exposed on top of the main sun — changing depending on which area of the institute you're visiting.
My team and I were tasked to create a three volume set brand manual for the new Smithsonian Institute. The manual covers brand strategy, brand guidelines, brand experience, corporate immersion, environmental immersion and more.
While the entire concept of the redesign was a group effort, our team of four was divided into three groups for the design of the manual. With Jessica Natasha designing Volume I: Brand Philosophy, Jamie Kao for Volume II: Brand Identity, and the Mohini Khadaria & Gabrielle Storrs covering Volume III: Brand Immersion.
Concept: Jamie Kao, Jessica Natasha, Gabrielle Storrs, Mohini Khadaria
Logo Design: Jamie Kao, Jessica Natasha
Copy: Mohini Khadaria, Gabrielle Storrs
Manual Design: Jamie Kao, Jessica Natasha, Gabrielle Storrs, Mohini Khadaria