The National Aquarium is an aquarium based in Baltimore, MD along the front of the inner harbor. This aquarium is considered to be one of the best aquariums in the nation with a wide variety of sea life, programs, and activities for all ages. Its logo is used as a branding marker for the organization; it creates a distinction between this specific aquarium and other aquariums in the nation. The logo can be found at the front of the entrance to the National Aquarium, posters, official documents, clothes, and social media.
The National Aquarium logo consists of a small illustration and typography. The entire logo itself consists of a blue and white color palette with similar line weights. The image above the typography is a circular with organic elements in the positive and negative space. In this positive and negative space there is a repeating pattern that resembles both fish and waves; waves due to the convex and concave pattern and fish due to the blue dot strategically placed and the bottom left of each white form. The pattern interchangeably points directionally towards the top right and bottom left due to the fluidity and repetition. Below the illustration there is typography that reads out “National Aquarium”; the word National being placed directly above the word Aquarium. The type is spaced out relatively evenly and it seems to follow a rectangular grid. Each letter in “National Aquarium” is broken into shapes utilizing the negative and positive space, which creates letterforms. While the image is organic, the typography leans towards geometric forms in its grid like shape and use of type.
The wave and fish forms work for the branding of an aquarium. The logo’s interchangeable quality of the waves and fish work seamlessly and creates a branding item that is simple, concise, and effective. The circular form, which frames this pattern, works well with the organic element of water and sea life associated with the aquarium. In addition, due to organic-like quality of the image the logo in terms of weight feels light and free-flowing. The broken typography feels heavy and industrial in comparison to the organic free flowing image placed over top. It’s geometric shapes that make up the type set correlate with the architectural elements of the building. These two elements work together in how the image serves to express the aquatic and free form where as the typography signifies that the Aquarium is still an establishment that is in some sense restricted, controlled but organized and educational. As a whole this logo is corporate and institutional in the way that it functions. Both the typography and the image are neutral in its tone and mood, which can aid for a variety of audiences.