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Simon Manchipp

Simon Manchipp



On July 12th 2011 the new Sammy Ofer Wing of the National Maritime Museum opened its doors with an impressive new set of offers for visitors.

Our new branding was launched with a high-profile campaign (which we created) supporting the opening of the new Wing.

Initial reports of the success of the re-brand and re-grouping are already showing visitor numbers up over a third (35%) on last years numbers.

Kevin Fewster, Royal Museums Greenwich Director says “This is the most important year for the National Maritime Museum since it opened in 1937. The new brand identity sets out to reflect these dynamic changes — that will run across all the four sites and programmes.’

Interaction and storytelling are key to this new approach of ‘stimulating curiosity’. Data driven real-time projections, personalised keycards and the opportunity to contribute all form part of the corporate plan for the next ten years in a sustained effort to leapfrog the museum beyond its more centrally located London competition.

We had to create an identity that would not only embody this new outlook but inspire the loyal workforce of academics, gallerists, astronomers, archivists and marketeers who have all been swept along with this process of change – no small task.

As for the visual identity, David Law, co-founder of SomeOne explains “Our inspiration was the idea that the achievements and discoveries made in Greenwich in navigation, time-keeping, astronomy and technology, resonated and echoed around the globe, like the ripples from a stone dropped into a millpond – the National Maritime Museum naturally has to be the splash.”

Karl Randall, Senior Designer at SomeOne says “We wanted to make as big a splash as possible for the Museum, so we decided to create a 21st century image rendered entirely in CGI which would give us the opportunity to animate and light it, creating a flexible brand world that could evolve and adapt over time.”

David Law, co-founder of SomeOne explains “We created an entirely bespoke ‘splash’ that we then lit with different colours to make individual splashes for each of the three sites – sea blue for the Maritime Museum, gold for the Queen’s House and Royal purple for the Observatory. The ‘Group’ splash is clear water to represent the whole.”

David Law, co-founder of SomeOne continues “The best part is that people see different things in the splash — some see a crown, others see a ship, there’s even a star constellation amongst the droplets. We decided that it would be more reflective of the diverse offer of the group to keep these elements subtle, so you see a splash first and foremost, then maybe something else at a second glance – like seeing shapes in clouds.”

Karl Randall, Senior Designer at SomeOne elaborates “Alongside this, we have employed the beautiful typeface ‘Farnham’ by Christian Schwartz as a group typeface family for all communications. It is a contemporary take on 1700’s punchcutter Johannes Fleischmann’s work. Known for its ‘sparkle’ on the page, Farnham has been designed for the digital age and for us really reflects the new directions of the museum as a whole whilst acknowledging the past.”

As the identity rolls out, the splash will ‘come alive’ as the ‘liquidity’ brand world is further employed across digital signage and gallery projections.

Claire Hyde, Head of Communications at the National Maritime Museum says “SomeOne has produced an inspiring identity for us which reflects the huge steps we are taking to engage with our visitors in a contemporary, more conversational way.”

Lord Sterling, Chairman of the National Maritime Museum said: “Our maritime story is Britain’s national story. And understanding the way the past has shaped the present never been more important in enriching our understanding of the world and providing inspiration for the future. This visionary transformation would not have been possible without the support of Sammy Ofer and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In the Sammy Ofer Wing, our new exhibition space will introduce new generations of visitors to the many rich narratives bound up in our maritime story”.


Simon Manchipp

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