Debuting a new brand

Graphic Designer | Thinkery

Signage from the Thinkery in red and white on red background.

Formerly the Austin Children’s Museum, The Thinkery is a premiere children’s museum focused on hands-on, interactive STEAM education for children ages 0-11. Located on the old Mueller municipal airport grounds, the new location came with a new name, building and brand to fulfill upon the mission to create innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers.

Colorful signage from the Thinkery in blue, purple, green and yellow with sans serif text and icons.

ROLE

As the Graphic Designer, my role was to implement the Thinkery brand across every touchpoint. I designed deliverables ranging from marketing campaigns and digital assets to exhibit icons and murals. And each piece worked together to create a cohesive and consistent design strategy that elevated the brand to the public.

Mockup of billboard with Thinkery logo and red background.

GOALS

The Austin Children’s Museum (ACM) was a well-known staple in Austin for over three decades, and while the ACM brand became disjointed over time, it still had broad recognition across the community.  Since the Thinkery was unknown and brand new, it was important to implement the brand guidelines across every facet of the organization to present a united front that promoted the new location, building and approach to children’s learning.

Invitation with red Thinkery building, bid paddle designs, lavender envelope and monkey illustration on lavender background.

CHALLENGES

The marketing team cultivated open communication with every department to manage expectations, priorities and deadlines because I was the sole designer in charge of implementing design requests. Sometimes things would take longer than expected because in addition to launching a new brand, the regular work of operating a museum continued. 

Admission passes in Thinkery branding in purple, red, yellow, green and blue.

SUCCESSES

The Thinkery brand is well known and established - thanks to the emphasis on consistency from day one. I was part of a team that successfully took on new challenges, increased admission and membership rates and had a lasting and positive impact on the community. And the growth of the museum continues, with having served over 460,000 people last year.

A mural with colorful illustrations in hand drawn collage style.

LEARNINGS

Implementing a new brand on this scale was both exciting and overwhelming. From the beginning, the adherence to the brand style guide and working within a design system resulted in a well executed roll out. And while we tried to manage turnaround times on design requests to the best of our ability, we should have increased visibility into our progress. Offering this information would have helped mitigate wait times and offered more insight into the creative process. 

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