California Academy of Sciences

Rebranding for a reimagined institution

Among the largest museums of natural history in the world and housing more than 26 million specimens, the California Academy of Sciences took advantage of new building to create a new brand identity and 21st-century museum brand. Its original “home” was comprised of a series of disparate buildings, and we were asked to unify them as a single and therefore more robust brand—a natural history museum, an aquarium, and a planetarium all under one living roof.

Born out of architect Renzo Piano’s original sketch for the building, the new identity was aptly named The Fabric of Life—weaving the three museum entities together in a symbol that feels scientific, organic, and alive. Whether perceived as a nest, a crystal lattice, a sun, or something magnified under a microscope, all perceptions support the Academy as a natural sciences brand.

Through a suite of supporting design, materials, and messages, the Academy was able to connect with the community and visitors from all over the world in a cohesive way. The identity supported the building which in turn supported the amazing research and experiences happening inside its walls. The brand continues to be vital and exciting, always pulling from the vibrancy and change found in life itself.

Project Credits & Awards:
Designed for Pentagram Design
Photos: © Tim Griffith
Donor Walls: Implementation in collaboration with Kate Keating Associates
Awards: Gold Spark Award Winner