We Are the Fleet Science Center
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is now known as the Fleet Science Center. The new brand identity is the realization of our expanded vision and extended role as a county-wide organization.
In 2014, the Fleet embarked on a number of studies and community conversations to examine its place in San Diego. The results of those studies informed a strategic plan that we've been working to implement over the last two years. The Fleet is transforming from a museum in the park to a county-wide organization devoted to building and supporting communities rich in science learning. This includes expanding our relationship with schools to provide integrated teacher professional development, science workshops and afterschool programs in support of both teachers and students. It also includes partnering with community organizations to bring science into San Diego neighborhoods so that all San Diegans have access to the transformative power of science. Additionally, Fleet staff have been working to create new experiences that provide transformational moments at the science center.
“While working on the strategic plan, we realized the direction we were charting was a departure from the associations people typically have of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center,” said Dr. Steven Snyder, CEO of the re-branded Fleet Science Center. “Most people tend to think of us as the science center in Balboa Park with the IMAX Dome Theater, planetarium and hands-on exhibits.
“The Fleet Science Center is evolving to a county-wide organization that reaches across all of San Diego,” continued Dr. Snyder. “We are committed to transforming the way people of all ages access the power of science. Our vision is to engage our communities in the pursuit of our shared scientific future—to make the world a better place. The rebranding is a way of making this transition official and helping to reinforce that we are an organization dedicated to science learning, in addition to being the most-visited museum in Balboa Park.”
As part of its comprehensive strategic plan, the Fleet has launched new events such as Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar (listed by San Diego Magazine as one of the “27 Reasons to Love San Diego”). We've also begun developing our own exhibitions and new on-site events. This includes the immensely popular and immersive exhibition, Taping Shape, made entirely of packing tape; the loud, messy and shocking live science show, Don’t Try This at Home; and the highly interactive Impossible Science Festival. The Fleet also began an ambitious community program, partnering with STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and math) organizations to bring 52 Weeks of Science, a program that provides a free science event each week, to the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhoods.
“The new brand is bringing cohesion to the many different exhibitions, films, events and programs we offer at the Fleet and that we host off-site,” said Wendy M. Grant, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Fleet. “We host summer camps and our Young Scientists learning program for kids. We host Night of Science parties for adults. We’ve introduced computer programming and 3D printing workshops, as well as off-site lecture series, such as Suds & Science, and events like Brushes & Beakers, which combines science and art. We’ve been working hard to create the Fleet of the future. We felt we needed an identity package that reflects our vision while maintaining the integrity of our 42-year-old brand.”
We began working with Mth Degree in 2015 to develop a new brand identity to reflect the changing direction of our institution. The centerpiece of the new brand identity is the logo.
“Our branding approach always stems from the strategy and vision of the organization,” said Steven Morris, President of Mth Degree. “The logo mark plays a crucial role in carrying the brand story into the world. The triangular shape has been chosen purposefully to accurately reflect the three pillars of the Fleet vision: the Fleet Science Center, education and community. The forward arrow evokes progress and aspiration, and the use of perfect symmetry creates a clear center from which possibilities can be explored in all directions.
“When creating the logo, we wanted to incorporate many familiar scientific concepts,” Steven Morris continued. “This included the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence to the geometry of Platonic solids. We infused a scientific backstory into the brand identity right from the start.”
“Our school programs and community involvement have made us much more than just a science center you come to, interact with the exhibits and leave,” said Dr. Snyder. “We strive to be out in the community and engaging people in science no matter what their age or background is.”
“The change has already begun,” said Wendy Grant. “Now is the time to make it official.”