Studio or team
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is an iconic museum in Mumbai that was formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum.
As part of the objective to rekindle interest in the museum, Alok Nanda & Company (ANC) was commissioned to update its visual identity. Appealing to a younger audience was an important objective of the redesign.
One of ANC’s key recommendations was to use the shorter ‘CSMVS‘ to make the name easier to say and recall.
At the heart of the identity change was an updated logo. The old logo was a detailed illustration of the building in a rigid and inflexible grid and the level of detail made it hard to scale down on a mobile screen. ANC’s first task was to develop a cleaner, more modern drawing of the building and create a unit that could be adapted to both physical and online mediums.
Many of the changes are in the details. For instance, the letter spacing was corrected and relationships between the different visual elements were modified. To simplify reading hierarchy and eye flow, the brand toolkit also allows the use of the mnemonic ‘The Museum’ with ‘Mumbai’ below it.
Was changing the logo completely ever an option? The ANC team says it wasn’t. The idea was always to preserve the identity that is a strong reminder of the museum’s unique heritage. The real challenge, they say, was finding the perfect balance between intricate Indo-Sarcenic design and minimalist, modern sensibilities.
The ANC solution uses clean, black lines to render the building and places it against a stark white background. This creates a unit that is still a distinctive drawing of a distinguished building – even if it can not be seen in its entirety.
The refreshed identity is being adapated to merchandise for CSMVS’ gift shop. ANC has created a range of merchandise including travel mugs, totes, stationery and badges. Elements of the logo are used as graphic element on the merchandise. The team says that this allowed them to demonstrate that even when a part of the logo is used, a distinctive curve or detail makes it recognisable to the museum’s patrons.
The primarily black and white colour palette was chosen to provide a foil for the paintings, displays and artefacts in the museum. The primary logo typeface used in the solution is Baker Signet BT. The mark ‘CSMVS’ is written in Swis721 BT.
ANC is currently working on the Museum signage.
If the intention was to make it more appealing to younger audiences, ‘CSMVS’ is a good place to start. But I don’t see the abbreviated form highlighted anywhere in the identity. ANC still went ahead with making the logo more icon centric. As if it still subscribed to the loyalty of museum-goers type audience but wasn’t the point to get hold of younger ones also? History and culture need to be made more accessible and fun rather than a nerdy-thing.