Redefining world class to a highly parochial audience

Branding and Identity

  • Environmental Graphics
  • Identity
  • Brand signature
  • Packaging

Client Contact:

I was involved in a pitch for the Auckland Museum a little while ago. I rather enjoyed the freedom from the usual constraints of what would ordinarily be a highly political and consultative process. Creating a ‘corporate brand’ for a museum seems like the wrong brief to me for a start. A museum is hardly corporate.

‘World Class’ is a word you hear bandied around in a brief such as this. Certainly, Auckland Museum were a little defensive of this, given their competition of the National Museum, Te Papa in Wellington. The truth is they are world class, and rightly so. It was just that the locals have some trouble believing it and don’t come as often as they should.

Conceptually, I wanted to set up this idea of a conversation frame, a plane where the viewer could interact with the museum on multiple levels. The motif is a typographic expression of ‘AM’, but with a definite Maori arts and crafts influence. It also echoes the front ramparts, the pillars of the building, and the new addition. It is in a sense at one time contemporary, as well as traditional.

Needless to say, someone else won the day. I live to design another day…