As the world of science continually evolves, so does the Saint Louis Science Center, which debuted its first rebrand in over a decade in early September.
Aiming “to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,” the rebrand includes a new logo and color palette, along with the Science Center’s new tagline, “Connect with Curiosity.”
“We want this to be a place where people connect with science, each other, the community and with curiosity, which is what drives all of the scientific processes,” says Ann Balsamo, chief marketing and communications officer. “Curiosity drives discovery and exploration.”
The new logo — a navy background with bright green, teal, orange-yellow and salmon accents — is “meant to give us flexibility and reflect how dynamic science is,” Balsamo explains, adding the formerly red-and-white logo embodied the Gateway Arch and shape of the center’s planetarium but didn’t encompass the full scope of what the center has become over the last decade. “The new logo maintains a nod to the symbol of St. Louis but also incorporates it into a derivation of the atomic symbol.”
Beyond a new look and feel, “we dug a little deeper into our brand narrative and how we talk and think about ourselves, as well as how that’s reflected in what we aspire to do,” Balsamo says. “We have a fairly lengthy brand narrative, but the most important part is when we say, ‘The Saint Louis Science Center is yours: free to enter, to experience, to shape, to share. By creating a place where everyone can discover together, we’re forging the future of our region. We’re putting St. Louis at the center of science, and science at the center of a more connected world.’”
Balsamo says that portion of the brand narrative embodies the new ways the organization is creating exhibits, including the recent Destination Moon exhibit, as well as the upcoming GameXPloration exhibit, which opens Oct. 13.
“If you look at how fast science and tech are moving now and how we’ve become an open-source society, that’s the way the Science Center is evolving,” she explains. “We have new ways of working and coming together. The rebrand is much more than a surface launch.”
The new brand identity boils down to four core themes: evolution, expansion, inclusion and aspiration.
“We aren’t the same organization we were 10 or 15 years ago,” Balsamo says. “We’ve evolved and expanded with our new building in GROW. As for inclusion, we’re a community-supported organization and want to be as engaged with our community as possible. And our aspirations have grown; we’re dreaming big and want our brand to reflect that.”
Although the rebrand may not be immediately evident to visitors — aside from the new website design and onsite signage, including six large panels outside the building — the Science Center has completed a Community Engagement Initiative Study in partnership with American Alliance of Museums, which will drive programs and activities into the future.
“It’s a formal process museums go through to learn more about how their community thinks about them, how we could be more welcoming to and how we engage the people in the region,” Balsamo says.
Although the Science Center is always evolving, Balsamo is proud of what it has already accomplished.
“We’re thrilled to be a Smithsonian affiliate and an institution that’s highly regarded among peer science and tech centers across the country,” she says. “We are in the Top 10 most visited science museums in the country and the top 15 in the world.”