Hat-Trick Design rebrands Horniman Museum

Hat-Trick Design has rebranded the Horniman Museum in South London as part of the £2.3m redevelopment of the museum’s gardens.

The Horniman Museum branding
The Horniman Museum branding

The museum was founded in 1901 by collector and Victorian tea trader Frederick Horniman. It houses collections of anthropology and musical instruments, an aquarium and a natural history collection.

Hat-Trick began working on the project about two years ago following a credentials pitch. It worked with strategic consultant Susie Fisher, who worked on values and positioning for the project.

Gareth Howat, director at Hat-Trick Design, says, ‘One of the key things they wanted to get across that it’s a quirky mix of different collections and it’s about bringing those to the front. Even on the interpretation side, it was about linking things from the gardens to things from the museum.’

The Horniman Museum  entrance
The Horniman Museum entrance

The new designs take the idea of a ‘collection of collections’ as a starting point; and uses a reflected bracket device to create the new ‘H’ mark. Images of museum objects are used to show the eclectic nature and breadth of the collections against a black and white colour palette with a ‘clean, modern typographic styling’ from a single typeface family.

The identity is shown across all museum collateral, including all wayfiding and signage for the museum.

Howat says, ‘It’s about the whole experience of the museums, so we used the imagery from the amazing objects. We wanted to have a neutral background to the whole thing so the images themselves can do all the talking.

‘The identity itself is quite straightforward and clean – tonally it’s a modern identity but it hints at the heritage of the place.’

A new website has also launched, created by Keepthinking; while the design and planning of the redeveloped Gardens was overseen by Land Use Consultants, with the new pavilion designed by architects Walters and Cohen.

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