Museum of English Rural Life

Brand identity and exhibition design

Staff and the public usually refers to the Museum by the acronym of M-E-R-L. This was the starting point for the visual identity of The Museum of English Rural Life. ‘Merl’ is also another name for the European blackbird and it immediately suggested a character that has an affinity to the English countryside and it also makes the Museum’s name more accessible as well.

The merl’s main characteristics (black plumage, bright yellow bill and upturned tail) have been used in the Museum’s logotype transforming the initial M in a memorable symbol used to identify the Museum of English Rural Life online, in print and around the building.

The exhibition texts set in the museum’s house typeface Quadraat Sans not only further an in-depth understanding of the subject matter, they also enhance the display with their appearance steeped in the handcrafted lettering tradition. A special set of pictograms and a stencil version of the Quadraat Sans typeface were developed to complement the exhibition graphics.

Project designed at Thomas Manss & Company