March for Science Logo Design

The March for Science has plans to take to the streets in over 600 cities across the world. As this is supposed to be a design blog, we’re going to (mostly) ignore the politics and (mostly) focus on the logos.

Let’s get this out of the way. According to Wiki:

“The March for Science (formerly known as the Scientists’ March on Washington) is a series of rallies and marches set to be held in Washington, D.C. and over 600 cities across the world on April 22, 2017.”

Apparently the idea for the march was inspired by the 2017 Women’s March back in January, and started as a discussion on the Reddit forums (now there’s multiple Reddit threads.)

March for Science Twitter design

From there, the discussion moved to a Facebook group, which exploded from a modest 200 members to 300,000 members in less than a week. Over at Twitter, the official March for Science account has over 370K followers. The publicly stated goals of the march and rally are to call for science that upholds the common good as a “call for evidence-based policy in the public’s best interest.” The march is timed to coincide with Earth Day, for which Google has trotted out a wonderful animation (if you haven’t checked it out – you really should.)

Google Eart Day Animation

It truly is lovely.

The March for Science logo.

From what I’ve been able to track down, it was on the Reddit forums that the official March for Science logo first appeared, as uploaded by a user called shiruken back on February 1 (I’m kinda flying blind here, so if I’ve got anything wrong, feel free to update or correct me in the comments.)

The initial march for science atom logo

So You Think You Know LogosThe logo is based on an atom, with the earth as the nucleus and three electrons in orbit (major nerdsplaining in a bit.) The first version of the logo was graphically awkward, with the electron orbits placed on top of each other, but that was apparently corrected to have the orbits interlink at some point in the thread discussion.

Nerdsplain: Electrons and the significance of 3.

Not sure if this made its way into the design evolution, but the number of electrons that orbit the nucleus is scientifically significant as it determines what family of elements it belongs to. An atom with three electrons belongs to Group 13, the boron family:

“The boron family contains elements in group 13 of the periodic talbe and include the semi-metal boron (B) and the metals aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga), indium (In), and thallium (Tl). Aluminum, gallium, indium, and thallium have three electrons in their outermost shell (a full s orbital and one electron in the p orbital) with the valence electron configuration.”

As an aside to logo designers, it’s worthwhile to keep this in mind when creating icons with real objects as a base: do your research because at some point it’s inevitable that some cat who hasn’t cracked a physics or chemistry textbook since high school (me) with a design blog (me) and a link to Wikipedia (me again) is going to nerdsplain the shit out of your lovely icon design.

The March for Science logo mashups & remixes.

The logo itself was released into the wild as a vector and many cities, groups and organizations took the opportunity to create their own logos in a staggering variety of mashups and remixed designs (some grabbed earlier versions with the overlay electron orbits.) There’s an almost endless page of participating satellite cities on the March for Science website and you’ll find loads of lovely artwork and logo versions, used as standalone icons and poster art. I’ve grabbed a few and put them below:
March for science mashup logosDesign is very much part of the March for Science movement, with high-resolution posters and signs made available on the website. Like this one of theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, design and donated by illustrator Robert Rigel.

March for Science poster design