Adler Planetarium Re-design

omgthatssoswiss's picture

Hello. I'm currently a design student in my senior year of school. I was hoping to get some criticism regarding my mark for my Corporate ID class.

My company is the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Adler is one of the oldest planetariums in the world and by default has one of the richest histories of delivering a universal experience to all its customers.

My big idea is Awe. I want to show that the universe is infinite by displaying the depth of space. It seems that when people become older the loose faith in what they thought was amazing when they were kids. I wanted to emphasize the imagination of space as well as reconnect with the nostalgia of visitors who have given up on their youthful dreams.

Thanks in advance. Any criticism will be greatly appreciated.


scannerlicker's picture

Hello Mike!

I'm not quite sure of what we're seeing here: is this a logo?

Could you give us some more info on what you're developing here?


omgthatssoswiss's picture

It's a logo that I'm developing for my corporate identity class. Eventually, I'll be making an entire system based off of the mark.

Gus Winterbottom's picture

The Hubble images of the Eagle nebula (adler:eagle) might be useful. If nothing else, the starry sky background is the real thing.

Gus Winterbottom's picture

I should point out that I wasn't suggesting something as simplistic as equating adler with eagle, or that the circular stars should be replaced with the pointy kind. The Eagle nebula was a convenient, punny way of pointing to some spectacular "depth of space" pictures. That's what I don't get from the logo -- the feeling of depth.

picard102's picture

Agreed, if you're going after depth you've missed it here. Seems like most of the stars would be lost at smaller sizes, and the composition seems like it would be a pain to work with inside any other element.

David Boni's picture

I agree with picard (what an appropriate name)... Those stars and parts of those serif letterforms will disappear at smaller sizes. It's an obvious approach which isn't bad, but at the moment it is too literal. I feel like you can achieve the same effect while using less yet bigger dots/stars, perhaps making a shape with them collectively that has some deeper meaning still.

I'm a secret geek for space. I think your brief is in the right place; to pursue a type of depth and awesomeness in this mark will be ideal. Personally, the serif typeface, while nice, isn't invoking imagination with me, but more or less prestige.

omgthatssoswiss's picture

Thanks everyone!

MrKikkoman's picture

Ya, for a logo that's definitely complex, however, I understand what you're trying to convey.

If I was going for "AWE" I would simply just slap the typeface on a crazy awesome photo from space instead of trying to incorporate it in the logo.

Personally, I would like to see a more friendly typeface especially since museums want people to come see their goodies. But, I do like what you used.

Keep at it, I'd like to see your progress.

katedawson1's picture

I definitely think the stars are way too tiny. In practical applications (such as printing on business cards, etc) they will get lost when reduced to smaller sizes. You might consider making the larger dots even larger, and arranging them into something recognizeable such as the big dipper.

Right now someone might misinterpret the dots as paint splatters, or worse, when printed, just as accidental ink spots or debris.

I do like the general idea, but I think it needs to be defined and look like you placed the stars there in a purposeful way.

Also, consider an all-caps sans serif for the subtext.

Just a thought: Maybe try a large cresecent shape across the top, to be reminiscent of planetarium tops. If you do that, I wouldn't get too cutesy with the arrangement of the stars b/c it would be too much.

I like the color palette. This would also look nice as a part of a whole identity where navy becomes the primary background color for certain pieces (such as the back of a business card showing the logo by itself).

Good work so far!

CGI's picture

I don't see the need to use two colors. Is there a reason? If not, go with the blue. In fact, you may want to go white on a blue background. You might have to finagle the blue to make sure it can be printed on.. ) As this is student work, you have total control of the Identity and you can set the rules. So, I wouldn't worry about dots being too small or whatever : they can be always be set to be proportional to the substrate. What I would try is make 'Adler' and 'Planetarium' the same size and keep them on the same level. Your "logo" could then be the two words spaced out to fit the bottom, top, or side of any piece of collateral ( letterhead, business card, website background etc ) and then your stars fading out from the lettering. Your arrangement of stars is very pleasing to the eye otherwise.

CGI's picture

Couldn't resist..

omgthatssoswiss's picture

I realized I never defended my work, or at least explained the it further.

I wanted colors that invoke depth, but also tie into the history of the company. The very dark blue is an obvious representation of space, the gold/mustard color representing prestige. However, I do like the one color suggestion that CGI stated. I also like the vertical type treatment. I can assure you I tried many type treatments, some being on the same baseline, not vertical, so it's an interesting solution. The teal is what throws me off. Its a good tertiary color that applies to museums and conveys sophistication, but not space (i guess thats arguable). But thank you for the criticism/help. Its greatly appreciated.

The reason I like the "mark" with the logotype is that its very anti-mark... if that makes sense. It's not sterile. In other words, its not a circle with some design in it next to myriad pro, call it day. Maybe thats not fair, but this isnt a generic museum. This is the oldest planetarium in America. It has some of the oldest artifacts on the planet. And everyday it inspires children and adults alike.

So, it makes sense to be unique. The letterforms are kerned out and subtly represent space. The "stars" are a texture that subtly represents depth and can be applied to a system (currently working on).

I agree at a small scale, the "dots" will lose their affect. but don't most logo's? (im sure this can be argues to no end)
But for my idea, and what I'm trying to achieve, which is creating awe, a timeless, infinite, imaginative feeling, it applies.

My thinking is that its a non-traditional vs traditional logo that im trying to incorporate. Its a little unorthodox what im trying to accomplish.

One thing im working on in the system, is the mark and the logotype will not appear together in the signature if the two are going to be placed at a small scale. Obviously, its hard for me to showcase my BIG idea at 1/2 inch. But they will appear on the same piece. For example, a business card. One side will be bureaucratic while the other side has the spacial texture.

One thing I never try to trip up on is whether something is obvious or not, then questioning if its a bad thing. The strongest marks tell the simplest stories.

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