How to interest a broad audience for a museum about science? SILO developed a strategy and visual identity for Rijksmuseum Boerhaave that intrigues and invites you to discover.
Where would we be without science? Not so long ago, the amputation of a part of the body would often be the only remedy for an infection. Nowadays, we can look inside the human body without cutting. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave shows the stories behind major scientific inventions, letting visitors experience how much impact they have on our lives today. The rich collection contains the most important discoveries from Dutch history of science. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave is the treasure chamber of science and medicine.
“This is one of the most important scientific and
medical history collections in the world.”
– The Times
A museum for all of us
In 2016, the museum closed its doors for a large-scale renovation. The overhauled museum is no longer organized chronologically. Instead, visitors are guided along various themes such as the Golden Age and Health & Disease. The renovation also lead to a name change: Boerhaave is now a Rijksmuseum – a national museum. This underlines the importance of the museum for all of us. SILO was asked to develop a brand strategy and identity that supports the ambition of the museum: to appeal to a wider audience and to attract more visitors.
As a museum, which story do you want to tell? Who are the visitors you are targeting and what is your distinctive character? These are a few questions that we have answered with the museum in order to distill the brand essence. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave introduces you to the fascinating world of science. Each exhibition room has been turned into an interactive experience. A clever projection on your bare forearm shows you what an arm operation looks like. Muscles move aside one by one until you see the bone. An entirely new way to discover the anatomical drawings of Vesalius. You can also ‘watch’ alongside Antoni van Leeuwenhoek as he looks through the very first microscope.
“The objects of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave
amaze and move.”
— Robbert Dijkgraaf
Recognizable and versatile
The challenge was to propagate the collection’s diversity and the multiplicity of stories, while remaining recognizable to the public before, during, and after a visit to the museum. Based on the new brand strategy, SILO developed communication tools that fit every phase of the visitor journey. The new identity is dynamic and emphasizes research and experiment. The scientific processes and the research attitude of looking differently are conceptualized in visual experiments. The use of 3D software allowed us to cast new light on a variety of themes, transforming, distorting and converting imagery.
“The new logo is solid and playful, features that also matter in science.
It shows that there is always more to discover, just like in the new museum.”
– Dirk van Delft, former Director Rijksmuseum Boerhaave