1. How to Relate the Topic to the Design of the Exhibit
When we have students in one of our workshops we usually ask them randomly to shout out the topics of their exhibits. We then try to work with that student quickly to come up with some design basics for that topic.
By "design" we mean the overall plan for your exhibit. This includes the color, the layout, the features and the font and how they all work together. For example: If you were going to do an exhibit about a club of rose growers, called the "Tri-City Rose Growers' Club" what kind of an exhibit would you make? We'll give you 2 examples to look at below.
click to see larger image
Take a look at the overall effect of the panel. What does it say to you? What sort of a mood or image is the exhibit designer trying to get across? Does this look like an exhibit about a club for rose-growers?
Let's break it down.
-- Background color: gold. Hmmm. Is that a color you associate with roses? Or do you think more of pastel colors or deep reds?
--Font: This font (I love fonts and I collect them) is called "Calvin and Hobbes". It's great for lots of things, but does it remind you of roses? Didn't think so. I also did a funky effect to the text in Photoshop that changed the plain letters into something puffy and outlined in gray. It kind of looks like graffiti now. Do you think that people who grow roses often paint graffiti on the side? Doubt it.
--Images: Each of these images has roses or a gardener in them, but if you didn't have the title, could you look at the images and figure out what this exhibit panel was about? Maybe. There are the pink pruning shears that might make the viewer think of pruning roses, but would they think of a club of gardeners? The soldiers or boys scouts, or whatever they are, in the upper left would really throw them. Be careful about what unwritten text your images tell your visitor. Also the white background squares of the drawings look really bad on the gold. You might consider cutting the images out and placing them on your colored background. That would look like this, which is a big improvement.
click to see larger image
We'll ask the same questions of this panel as we did of the other panel: Take a look at the overall effect of the panel. What does it say to you? What sort of a mood or image is one trying to get across with an exhibit about a club for rose-growers?
-- Background color: the background color is a pale yellow to match the dress of the lady in the illustration. A rose color looks nice, too.
--Font: This font is called Shelly Volante and is quite feminine and frilly. I made the text match the color of the rose in the bottom left of the illustration.
--Images: The images on this panel have things to do with gardens, roses and the club (or people). I used a romantic, fuzzy sort of illustration of a woman in a rose garden, but something more closely related to the club might be better. Then I used a photo of a group of people, and a photo of rose with a small text under it explaining it. There is more reason for these illustrations than for the ones in the other panel.
All of these things should work together to help explain your topic. It doesn't explain the history that you are telling, but it supports it.
You know, if you do any research on-line for your topic, look at the font they use for the website on that topic. Look at the background color or pattern. Look at how it (should) go together to create an overall feeling or impression that relates to the topic. You may also want to look at the web pages on our website related to our past temporary exhibits. There are lots of examples of integrated design there.
or jump to another section by choosing one of these pages:
1. How to Relate the Topic to the Design of the Exhibit, in which we discuss the overall feel of your exhibit and how to match up the visual stuff with your topic.
2. Interesting Exhibit Design, in which we discuss all sorts of fun stuff like choosing an appropriate color, where to put stuff on your panels, photo sizes, and other things that make your exhibit go from ho-hum to KAZOWIE! There's so much info here that it takes up 2 huge pages of info.
3. Fonts and Type Faces, in which we discuss all the cool fonts in the world and how they go hand and hand with a good visual presentation and where to find them.
4. How Do I Do That? (a virtual hands-on demonstration), in which we show you with photos how to attach a photo to fomecore, how to cut fomecore with a knife and how to other stuff.
5. Sources, in which we show you that there are lots of places to find ideas and stuff to use in your exhibit. Some of it for free!
Back to our exhibit help main page