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Bihar Museum:
Awakening the glory of BiharBrand Strategy + Identity + Print + Web + Social Media + Wayfinding

Lopez Design was commissioned by the Bihar Museum for Brand Strategy and design of identity, website, print collaterals, signage system and social media. DACY (Department of Art Culture and Youth, State of Bihar) were prime coordinators. Lord Cultural Resources executed the planning and design for this world class museum. Maki and Associates from Japan are the architects of the expansive Museum building. To streamline the design output, Lopez Design collaborated with foremost signage designers Mijksenaar in the Netherlands for Wayfinding solutions, Ishan Khosla Design for Communication Collaterals and Blogworks for Social Media. The launch for the Museum happened on August 7th and subsequent phases are being implemented. Website for the Bihar Museum is www.biharmuseum.org

The Bihar Museum at Patna was born from the vision of Shri Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, who felt the need for a contemporary cultural institution that would bring pride to the people of Bihar and accelerate progress in the State. He envisioned a state-of-the art museum as a catalytic center and place of transformation. Planned as a multicultural hub,the Museum would engage visitors with interactive storytelling and multimedia exhibits.The galleries travel through the ages to recount the great history of Bihar, bringing it alive in a renewed context. Bihar Museum’s primary mission is to return the lost glory of Bihar by rejuvenating the pride of Biharis, bringing a shared sense of heritage for Indians and attracting an international audience to discover the extraordinary history of
ancient India.

The Context

The history of Bihar in many ways is the history of India. Great kings and dynasties came out of this region. Two great religions Jainism and Buddhism had their origins here. Unrivalled institutions of learning in ancient India as Nalanda and Vikramashila were established here. Poets, thinkers, writers and craftsmen flourished here. The national emblem of India is derived from Asoka’s Lion Pillar and the dharmachakra at the center of India’s national flag is from this region. Connecting the future of Bihar to this glorious past was prime for our strategy.

Our Multilayered Strategy

2000 years ago, Emperor Asoka engraved his beliefs of dhamma on rock and pillar edicts disseminating knowledge to firmly engrain principles for society. The pillar has associations with both building and knowledge. We saw the past historical developments of this region as three pillars of a perfected society – Great Governance, Supreme Knowledge and Way of Life. 

We saw the Museum as a multifaceted personality with something for everyone. Our strategy evolved in the true spirit of Indian ethos, where symbology and mythology are embedded in jewel boxed narratives for many interpretations at various levels.

The three pillars form the structure and support the Museum. The Museum is the Param Vihara – the primary abode – “awakening the glory of Bihar.” We also envisaged the Museum as a “bridge to the past and a gateway to the future.”

“I am the Bihar Museum”

In India we say “Tat Tvam Asi” meaning That Thou Art.

“I am the Bihar Museum” is a simple document that evolved out of our connection with this sacred and primal essence, reaching out to every individual to become a part of the Museum. It was the first step towards the Museum becoming personal and universal, local and global.

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Identity

We looked for symbols of national importance, local pride and international interest that would encapsulate the identity. It had to be simple, universal and carry the essence of Bihar.

Our Identity consists of a logo and logotype. The Bodhi Tree – having clear associations with growth, learning and enlightenment – emerged as a primary symbol. It connected with Biharis and the world as the Tree of Wisdom. The Peepal is also the State Symbol of Bihar.


The Hindi rendering of Bihar Sangrahalay supports the English name Bihar Museum with the unique “Shirorekha” line of the Devanagari script making a bilingual bridge.

Satya Rajpurohit of Indian Type Foundry was involved in the modification of fonts for the logotype.

Communication Strategy

We evolved a multi-layered communication strategy keeping with the precepts of the brand strategy’s roots in Indian culture. Script had a major role to play in the unraveling of history. It was the crucial tie to the past. In the 19th century, Indologists, historians and scholars rediscovered the history lost for centuries by deciphering the rock and pillar edicts of Asoka. 

Audience: Communications aimed to appeal to children and engage with the people of Bihar, national tourists and international visitors.

Visual framework: The visual ethos carried forward the “Bridge to the Past, Gateway to the Future” strategy by placing artifacts from the past in context to the future

Cultural bridge: The script of a nation is representative of its original character, geography and culture. Descriptor words in Hindi that related to the primary image were an intrinsic part of all communications



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Social Media Posts

Why is the strategy unique?

As in many nations that grew from older civilizations, India’s culture is complex, multi layered and rich in symbolism. While creating this identity, we were determined to show India and the world – Bihar Museum through the eye of an Indian. From this kernel, the Identity emerged.

Using the Hindi script’s ‘shirorekha’ we bridged a unique relationship between our world and the Western. Language is central to our branding and plays an important role in all communications of the museum. Starting with the identity, the behaviour, all communications and ultimately the very experience itself, everything is designed to give you a true Bihar Museum experience.

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THE TEAM