IT may just have had two words added to its title, but bosses at the National Science and Media Museum have revealed the huge two-year project that led to the institution’s recent rebranding.
The visitor attraction changed its name in March, to reflect a new science focus.
Now the director of the museum, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, has revealed to the Telegraph & Argus some of the other names which were being considered and the lengthy work which went on behind the scenes to give it a new name and look.
This included the use of three consultancy firms - and while museum bosses were unable to give the exact cost of this work, they have said it formed part of a £140,000 improvement programme across the parent Science Museum Group which included new signs, uniforms and merchandise in Bradford.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said after the museum avoided the threat of closure in 2013 and bosses decided to give it a new focus on the science of light and sound, they also wondered whether it should have a new name.
The museum commissioned a consultancy to conduct focus-group research into attitudes towards the existing name and a potential name change.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said many people thought the word ‘media’ meant the museum was about journalism, while others felt nostalgic for its former title, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, though they often got the order of the words wrong.
She said: “The National Media Museum title hadn’t really embedded.”
The museum then commissioned a second set of consultants, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, to run an internal review on the museum’s brand and ethos.
A third consultancy firm, North, was hired last year to come up with a long-list of names and new branding and logos based around the final choice.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said: “It was the one chance to throw the net as wide as possible to make sure we exhausted all the different ways of looking at this, because you only get this chance once in a generation.”
North came up with a long-list of more than 50 names, which included The National Audiovisual Museum, Institute of Light & Sound, National Multimedia Museum, Medialab, - AVDOME, MOSAIC (Museum of Sound and Image Creation), Sound & Vision Institute, The Centre for Light & Sound, PERCEPTION: The Sound and Vision Museum and PLAY: The National Sound and Image Museum.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said they had already decided that the inclusion of ‘National’ and ‘Museum’ were “non-negotiable”, and said one name immediately stood out.
She said: “By adding the word ‘science’, we focused really clearly around our areas of concern, and that was genius.
“I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it.”
She put a shortlist of just one name to the Science Museum Group board in December and they approved it.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said the museum’s own research showed the new name was already catching on with visitors, while a poll in the Telegraph & Argus had also showed broad support for the new title, which “meant a lot to us”.
Asked whether she thought the public would be surprised at the resources it had taken to add two words to the museum’s title, she said: “We had to keep things very quiet until the moment was right to announce the new name.
“Everything had to be ready to go, with the new name above the door.
“So maybe it might appear to people we just made a decision then, but it has been work that has been going on for more than two years.”
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