The oversized "O" in the Exploratorium logo is a symbolic "opening" into experience. It's meant to be an invitation to visitors to find anything and everything interesting. Beyond that, it signifies the museum's deep philosophy of empowerment; the intention for each visitor to explore and respect their own perceptions and to make their own meaning from experience. I worked with typographer Erik Spiekermann to create the EXPLO Font, adding a stencil version based on found typography at the pier building. While I was Art Director, I worked on increasing the consistency and creativity of the museum's graphic identity.
One way to express the identity is with an actual hole, cut through signage and die cut through business cards. Here a hole is die cut through the entire over sized annual report, including the covers.
Another way to suggest the identity is in the circular aspect of various phenomena, in a series of donor collateral.
The identity becomes a “portal” view through a circular frame in this oversized capitol campaign brochure.
The Exploratorium is an institution that embraces eccentricities. One of my challenges was to gradually reinterpret the many disparate program identities, to move toward a family resemblance. Here the identity is suggested through the circular shape of sub identities, like a box of chocolates.
Campus and Signage Guidelines