AMNH: Algorithmic Flexible Identity

Identity Design, Posters, Generator Website

Student Work, 2021

An algorithmic redesign flexible identity of the largest natural history museum in the world, generating and showcasing every collection in the museum.

American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is the world's largest natural history museum. However, the current logo fails to represent its rich and diverse biological collection or a cultural connection to the museum.

By simplifying the arc of the museum’s famously historical entrance, it becomes the new logo and a container for multiple possibilities. It is a frame that could hold the past, present, and future of the museum.

There is also a customized user interface for the museum to maintain a consistent visual identity system.

Employees can generate many new versions of the logo by simply uploading pictures to the interface.

Thus, it is very easy to maintain even by people without design skills. The flexible container logo can be applied to various stationeries and other formats with different images inside, it is adaptive, scalable, and user-friendly.

The multiple sub-organizations of the museum need their individual logos for recognition, too. Yet, it is a tedious job to design every logo manually. It is also not scalable as the museum might reform its organizations and need new logos in the future.

Luckily, by parameterizing the current logo into a generative algorithm, it is possible to generate an infinite set of unique but cohesive logo variants for these sub-organizations.

It lessens the burden of going through a repetitive series of design processes if the museum needs a logo for a new sub-organization in the future.
The generator can even create a customized experience. When someone purchases a ticket, they will have to answer four questions that have a personal connection to their experiences in the museum. Questions like “This is your _______ time visiting the museum”, “You are traveling with _________ people” etc.

The backend will use the answers to adjust the parameters, eventually generating a customized logo variant with a randomly selected unique collection in the museum. Users can choose between collecting this unique logo and printing it on a paper ticket or archiving it online.

The identity is more memorable to the users after active participating in a customized ticket purchase experience.
AMNH’s bespoke font is compressed, high bar-height, and elegant by drawing inspiration from the stone-carved typeface on its architecture.

This bespoke font also has a variable version that transforms from an ancient like human origin inspired style to a futuristic, space-inspired style in one font.

It not only showcases the two polarized ends of AMNH’s research but also all the possibilities in between. It echos the rich history and wide range of collections the museum has archived through its variability.
With an algorithm rather than a completed, fixed visual identity, this redesign version is flexible, mutative and interactive, leading to an infinite number of possibilities.


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