Ready to Launch

The Science Museum’s head of creative direction, Tim Molloy, commissioned Harry Pearce at Pentagram to relaunch Launchpad

Launchpad has long been the UK’s largest free interactive science gallery, not to mention the Science Museum’s most popular exhibit. When the revamped Launchpad gallery opens on 24 November, visitors will find it relocated to a new site within the museum that is one third larger than the existing basement location. The primary purpose of its redevelopment, says Molloy, “is to create a space that appeals to children between eight and 14 and one that engages brains, not just fingers. We want to create a a space that encourages enquiry.”

“The main logotype is a very simple illusion,” explains Pearce who worked with fellow Pentagram designer Richard Wilson on the project. “The perspective of the typography at the top is never resolved at the bottom, meaning the depth of the logo can be extended infinitely.” This extendable shadow can thus be used to contain virtually anything; a colour, a texture, an image, a piece of film. In the exhibition space itself, the logo appears and disappears behind walls, floors and ceilings — often only seen in part. Huge back-lit boards in the gallery space carry questions and photographic imagery that relate directly to the interactive exhibits they flank (2&3) and continue the visual theme of the logotype.

The identity comes to life online on an updated section of the Science Museum’s website and a new game, Launchball, gets young players thinking about physics through a series of engaging and seriously addicitve puzzles. Physics has never been so much fun.


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