We created a modern expression to reflect America’s evolving relationship with the sea.
Mystic Seaport Museum is America's largest maritime museum. The celebrated New England institution came to CSA to align their story, visual system, and digital presence with a new strategic direction.
Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea was setting on a new strategic plan to revitalize attendance and re-engage the community. The goals of the Museum were two-fold. They wanted to attract a younger, more diverse visitorship from beyond the Mystic, Connecticut area, and shift perceptions of the museum from a historic center purely capturing America’s maritime history, to a public platforms for conversations around the sea and its impact on technology, culture, and commerce.
The relationship between humans and the sea had profoundly changed since the days of Moby Dick, but with communities increasingly facing the realities of climate change, that relationship is more relevant than ever. Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea was already modernizing its programs and exhibition calendar to speak to the new realities of the history it serves and it needed to modernize its New England Americana brand in order to communicate that expanded story.
A new positioning as simply Mystic Seaport Museum and an engaging campaign celebrating Radical Craft set the Museum on a path to transformation. Maritime and historical references, paired with a fresh, contemporary visual vocabulary, the Museum’s identity invites new audiences to connect with the sea. The logo and design system mimic several elements found on and around the site: The craft of ship construction, waves breaking on the shore, and the architecture of the newly constructed Thompson Exhibition Building.
The Museum’s new identity and visual system sets it apart from other New England attractions. The name needed to do the same. Formerly, Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, CSA simplified the name to Mystic Seaport Museum to clarify and expand perceptions of the institution. The new logo places emphasis on the word “Museum,” broadcasting to visitors the value and importance of its exhibitions and collections.
The redesigned website makes it easier than ever for visitors to engage with the Museum: From browsing exhibitions to planning a trip to purchasing tickets. The highly visual design, while more inviting for the general public, also enhances the experience for educators and researchers who have worked and partnered with the Mystic Seaport Museum for decades
A visit to the Museum has the potential to radically shift perceptions, not only about boats and craft but also the sea’s impact on our evolving relationship with technology and the realities of climate change. The new campaign invites visitors to ask their own questions, start a new dialogue, and find themselves within the context of the sea—and all it conjures.