American Museum of Natural History

Rotunda

  • Brand Identity Design
  • Editorial Design
  • Illustration
  • Information Graphics
  • Photographic Art Direction
 

For the American Museum of Natural History, one of the most prestigious science museums in the world, we redesigned Rotunda, the museum’s magazine for members. Our format updates the publication with a dynamic design that puts a new spin on subject matter as wide as the universe, and as old as time.

Brief

To help reintroduce its bimonthly newsletter as a more substantial quarterly magazine, the American Museum of Natural History asked us to develop a new design that would better reflect the world-class institution and its programs—and at the same time capture the imaginations of an audience that ranges from the scientific community to families with children, who are a significant portion of the institution’s membership. We worked closely with the marketing and editorial teams to meet the multiple needs of the museum.

Response

Our design for Rotunda skillfully—we like to think scientifically—balances a clean, clear and flexible layout with a contemporary look that enhances the AMNH brand. The design includes a nameplate with circular letterforms inspired by the title that works with both the “little man” of the museum’s existing logo and establishes an iconic identity for the magazine itself. Inside, a clean, clear structure provides a framework for the wide-ranging content, and articles are accompanied with more infographics, historical imagery, and newly commissioned photography that feels fresh and accessible.

Result

The relaunched Rotunda has quickly established itself as a signature element of the museum’s marketing and publications program. The magazine’s new sections and departments have introduced parts of the museum and its collections that members may not have encountered before, and the accessibility of the format has helped expand readership. Since the redesign, the magazine’s circulation has increased from 50,000 to 75,000, and Rotunda has received favorable feedback from members and the museum community. We continue to work with AMNH on every issue of the magazine.

RESEARCH: Typography, editorial design, information graphics, science, nature and education.

EXPLORATION: Logo development, cover templates and grid systems.

Cover of an issue prior to the redesign.

Spread from an issue prior to the redesign.

PROTOTYPE: Nameplate/logo cover treatments with primary and secondary typography.