Soak Up Iconography

Soak Up

Live brief with Discover Science Christchurch

Focus: Brand Identity, Naming, Tone of Voice

Team: Project completed with Rosie Dadswell and Abbie Coughlin

My Role: Logo concept, colour and identity, name, copywriting, advertising, tickets, uniform, merchandise

How can we make ocean science energising and inspiring for younger audiences?


The Challenge

Create a name and identity for a new immersive ocean science centre in Christchurch. By targeting families and school groups, the centre aims to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM and help fight climate change.

regular admissions ticket with iconography
Regular admissions ticket
ocean science disciplines gif
Ocean science disciplines and topics

The Concept: Celebrating the Diversity of Ocean Science

The centre will showcase the incredible breadth of ocean science, so our identity needed to too. However, I recognised that all these topics could confuse and overwhelm the core audiences, so I distilled the centre's vision into four core aspects:

four core aspects of Soak Up- oceans, marine biology, technology & enginering and future innovation
The four core aspects encapsulate the topics, experience and mission at Soak Up
internal wayfinding signage
Internal wayfinding uses the four aspects to categorise exhibits and enable easy navigation. Signage visuals by Rosie Dadswell
themed collectible tickets
Themed collectable tickets help younger visitors relate to ocean science topics, and help teachers split their classes into groups
Soak Up logo dark
Soak Up logo white

An Energising and Meaningful Name

The name ‘Soak Up - Ocean Discovery Lab’ encapsulates the centre’s vision; a dynamic, immersive experience that gets young people to soak up ideas and inspiration.

Staff ID cards
Personalised staff ID badges and job titles embody Soak Up’s playfully mischievious personality
Staff uniform
Staff uniform, with a playful embroidered slogan on the back

Brand Personality: Playfully Mischievous and Excited to Discover

I crafted Soak Up's tone of voice to get through to groups which are notoriously difficult to engage, such as secondary school students. It breaks any preconceptions of science being stuffy, boring and difficult to relate to.

Soak Up's simple iconography and bright colours work well across merchandise items of all sizes. Pattern by Rosie Dadswell
white t shirt with coloured icons
pink t shirt with oscillating waves
blue t shirt with icons

Flexible Design System

Soak Up's abstract icons depict oscillating waves, idea sparks and microscopic marine creatures. The iconography and colour system enables the centre to tone up the oceanic, scientific or innovative look for different themed exhibitions.

baby t shirt with slogan
Tongue-in-cheek baby T-shirt
patterned tote bag
Patterned tote bag by Rosie Dadswell

The Reaction

The team at Discover Science Christchurch praised our identity design; calling it "so much fun" and stating "you just can't help but smile when you see it!".

bus shelter advertisement