Director at the Museum of East Anglian Life
We were proud to work alongside the Museum of East Anglian Life to deliver an ambitious branding and concepts project which will see them transform into a national visitor centre, dedicated to food.
The National Food Museum will take visitors on a food journey; from field to fork. Through exploring the Suffolk based museum visitors will have the chance to “Grow”, “Make” and “Eat” the food that ends up on their plates at home. The aim is that people understand where their food comes from, and leave wanting to make a positive change to their eating habits.
We started the project by carrying out a Guest Experience Site Audit. The audit scored the key touchpoints of the museum’s experience. To better inform investment decisions, we reported back on the pros and cons of the whole museum experience too, to help prioritise quick wins.
We also measured the guest’s emotional response at each touchpoint. This helped the museum’s team understand the current visitor experience, and give insights into how the museum of the future should change to create a more positive and active experience.
The museum had already progressed with plans to create a new brand and remodel the guest experience at its 75-acre site based in Suffolk. Together with their team, we added wow to the new brand as well as creating valuable visitor centre concepts that will inform their future funding and planning applications.
We started in the design studio by creating a fresh and modern brand that also has its roots firmly in the heritage of the region. Inspired by the patchwork fields of agriculture, and the diverse range of industries that ‘food’ encapsulates; we created a modular brand identity that can grow with the museum as it transitions.
One of the key developments of the new brand identity was the strapline, ‘Grow – Make – Eat’. As well as providing an idea of what guests can expect at the new museum, it also provides three clear categories that the museum can use to zone their many exhibitions.
We also created a new museum narrative (interpretation strategy), designed to help the museum curate the best experience, and for guests to understand the importance and impact that food has on the natural environment.
Everyday we buy it, cook it, eat it and enjoy it. But where does it all come from and how is it all made? Follow the journey that your food takes as it goes from a farmer’s field to your fork at home, at the National Food Museum.
To support the museum’s funding and future planning applications, we created concepts to showcase the vision to stakeholders. The courtyard entrance is a drastically different experience, compared to the original ticketing booth. We wanted to show the museum’s idea of having a ‘free’ area where guests can enjoy the local brewery and bakery, before moving onto the museum entrance.
Utilising the new brand and colour palette, we remodelled the reception area to provide a more welcoming and interactive experience. We also included a nod to a new retail space that will stock museum branded products, generating an additional revenue stream.
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A crucial part of the future museum experience is the ability for guests to leave with a new outlook on food. As a result, we created a concept that transformed their obstructive oak tree into an asset by turning it into a ‘pledge garden’. Guests will be able to make a ‘pledge’ on their eating habits before they leave the museum, by writing it on seeded paper.
This seeded paper can then be planted in the pledge garden and guests can return to see how much their pledge has grown. Part of the seeded paper can also be taken home for guests to plant in their own home and become a keepsake from their day at the museum.
We also worked on exhibition ideas and interactive display ideas to make the museum an even better place to visit in the future. From futuristic bio-pods to dressing up as a farmer, we injected ideas that will excite and educate guests.
As the museum team take the new brand and concepts into their funding phase, we can’t wait to see the progress they make over the coming years. As a team full of food lovers, it was a fascinating project to work on in helping a museum aim for national status.
Director at the Museum of East Anglian Life