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National Museums Northern Ireland Go Learn! with National Museums NI

National Museums NI is a place for education, discovery and inspiration. Working alongside the Education Team we created the look and feel for the Go Learn! Education Programme, to spark curiosity in students and try to make life easier for teachers.

The Challenge

Museums hold a special place in society. They are a place for us to learn where we have come from, to learn of our past and inform our future, a place for free and open dialogue and discussion. For our younger generation, National Museums NI is a place for education, discovery and inspiration. Working alongside the Education Team, whose purpose is to create and offer exciting learning experiences for children and young people, our brief was to create an appealing visual system, style, personality and tone of voice flexible enough to work across the wide range of educational subject matter whilst aligning with the key stage 2 curriculum.


At National Museums NI you can embark on a journey of discovery back in time and across the world. You can come face-to-face with enormous dinosaurs that once ruled the Earth, or an ancient Egyptian mummy who lived over 2500 years ago. We wanted to spark curiosity and engage young minds with the treasures that lie within the Museum.


We wanted to provide teachers with assets and workable templates to facilitate remote learning, something particularly relevant during the current pandemic. However ultimately and to align with the overall purpose of National Museums NI, we’re ‘here for good’, to inspire and educate.

The Approach

We embarked on a period of discovery, holding discussions with key stakeholders as well as reviewing within and outside the category for best practice examples. We worked to develop a personality and tone of voice which would resonate with teachers and students alike.

Authenticity and Realness were important in offering young thinkers the opportunity to engage with real objects from a national collection. Collaboration was essential for energised and shared learning. A need to be Relevant and Relatable ensured we continued to be tuned into and led by Northern Ireland’s curriculum. Finally, we developed a personality of Creativity and Imagination to devise moments of exciting and inspiring learning.

Our tone of voice too would be geared to the young mind – be bright and encouraging, straightforward and concise, engaging and enthusiastic, upbeat and playful.

We wanted to help students develop the five ‘thinking skills and personal capabilities’ as identified in the Northern Ireland curriculum. Skills such as problem solving and decision making, self-management, working with others and being creative could be developed through exploration and learning of the artefacts held by National Museums NI.

A suite of graphical icons and action-orientated language was developed, calling on students and teachers alike to go, learn and explore.

The Execution

National Museums NI are keepers of 1.4m objects, and it’s possible that this education programme could utilize any number of combinations of these objects. Therefore, our approach to all design assets needed to be one of flexible structure.

Our answer was a kit of parts made up of several elements – photography, illustration, shapes, textures and treatments which combine to allow a similarity of style, but unlimited variations to a topic area.