By Carolyn Belardo
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University today unveiled a new logo that powerfully reflects its interconnected mission and growth in research, education and public engagement.
The new logo consists of a “heart of discovery” mark next to the Academy’s name, refined with a new typeface. The symbol evokes the pathways of knowledge, research, education, curiosity, and effort that interweave, resulting in years of groundbreaking discoveries by its scientists in the lab, in the field, and even by visiting students on a class trip.
The “pathways” look of the logo reflects the controlled chaos of life itself: an endless pattern of inner and outer journeys, according to AgileCat, the Philadelphia branding and design firm that created the new mark. In contrast, the Academy is highly organized, from its foundation in academia to its collection of 18 million plant and animal specimens. The new mark achieves a faithful balance between organic and organized.
“The Academy of Natural Sciences is unlike any other institution, and it deserves its own ‘fingerprint,’” said Academy President and CEO George W. Gephart, Jr. “This is such an exciting time of growth for the institution, and our logo better reflects our evolution and vision for the future.”
This also is a time when threats of federal funding cuts to major science programs, including the Environmental Protection Agency, loom. Recently, after much internal discussion, the Academy decided to join the scientific community in taking a more public role in speaking out about key science issues that impact our everyday lives.
“It’s more important than ever to share our research and discoveries and to encourage people to get involved in standing up and speaking out for credible science,” said Gephart. “This new logo gives the Academy a refreshed identity to go into the community and make a difference.”
As part of that commitment to community engagement, the Academy outlined its position on four critical issues which form the basis of its research program—climate change, water, evolution, and biodiversity and extinction. These position statements are posted at ansp.org.
Officials are also beefing up the Academy Town Square panel discussion and speaker series to reflect the new focus on these timely issues.
The new logo is another step in amplifying the critical importance of science to democracy and to our everyday lives, Gephart said.
The new typeface—Utopia for “The Academy of Natural Sciences” and Miller Display for “of Drexel University—is striking and timeless. “Natural Sciences” is brought to the forefront to make it a prominent identifier. Title case is applied to make the words uniform and more pleasing to the eye.
“Drexel University” is in all caps and sized equally to “The Academy of,” which gives it increased presence within the logo. The color palette of earth tones is vibrant, sophisticated and interesting.
Founded in 1812, the Academy is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. Many of the most illustrious naturalists and scientists were involved with the Academy since its earliest days, and the tradition lives on with current scientists who continue to make groundbreaking discoveries.
Vibrant with changing exhibits and interesting events, the Academy stands apart from more traditional museums with its hands-on approach to presenting the “awe factor” inherent in science.
I have to say that I am not a huge fan of this logo. I do not think that it gives a sense that any of the “pathways” are connected to each other. Also if you have four “core” values why is the pattern in sets of threes? While I like that there is an icon now, I just do not find it that memorable to the museum.
Meh. I don’t see much meaning here. Looks more like a fabric pattern than anything to do with science, or research, or education. Maybe bales of wheat. I don’t see pathways. If so, they ran into a dead end behind the 1st two bales of hay
Now instead of calling the Academy the “Philly Dinosaur Museum” we can refer to it as that “Museum with the bad logo.” A butterfly or dinosaur would be much more appropriate and more memorable. I sure hope they didn’t pay that branding and design firm too much for their new logo, for they aren’t going to get their money back selling t-shirts or mugs with it on them. That money could have been better spent on financing scientific endeavors or putting together exciting exhibits.