Pinball Wizardry: Seattle Pinball Museum Rebrand

Category: Branding, Web & Mobile Design, Environmental, Marketing
Roles: Art Direction, Illustration, Photography, Production
Timeframe: 8 Weeks

Overview

The Seattle Pinball Museum is a hidden gem loved by locals and visitors alike. Crossing the line between museum and arcade, the museum is truly something to be savored. By creating a design system with brand guidelines, the museum is now equipped with assets for both digital products and printed products.

Goals

Despite the charm, the museum's branding lacks consistency and cohesion. It could convey a clearer image of what the museum is all about — pure entertainment with a touch of history. Without a distinct visual identity, the museum struggles to stand out and capture the attention of potential visitors. Inside the museum, the atmosphere is fun and engaging, but this experience is not reflected in the museum's image. By creating a more cohesive and visually appealing brand identity that accurately reflects the museum's values and mission, the goal is to attract new visitors and ensure that anyone who visits the website out of curiosity or walks through its doors has an unforgettable pinball experience.

Research

Conducting thorough research was a crucial step in the process of rebranding the pinball museum. I visited the museum multiple times to fully immerse myself in the experience and understand what made it unique and sent out a survey on my platform to understand more about the museum and pinball culture as a whole. To gain a better understanding of the market, I also researched other museums and entertainment venues, looking for inspiration and insights. Through group brainstorming sessions, I explored different design directions until I found a brand identity that conveyed the museum's timeless nostalgia and unique approach to interaction-based history. The research phase allowed me to identify the museum's core values and create a brand that would resonate with visitors.

Logo exploration & illustration system

Process

Initially, it was difficult to set a visual tone and capture the timelessness and excitement of the Pinball Museum without the brand's image feeling too time-stamped. I experimented with simple, loose vector illustrations as well as bold type to create a balance of exciting and charming. Using simple shapes inspired by pinball machines from the sixties and hand-painted signs, the Seattle Pinball Museums' new identity was created.

Solution

By experimenting with these elements, I was able to create a unique graphic language that drew on the mechanical components of pinball machines, while still feeling playful and engaging. This approach enabled me to achieve a distinctive look and feel for the museum's website, merchandise, and collateral that was both authentic to the museum's identity and memorable for visitors. By creating a cohesive and unique visual identity, I was able to differentiate the museum from its competitors and create a memorable brand experience.

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