9 Exhibition Design Fundamentals For Museums

museum, displays, artefact

9 Exhibition Design Fundamentals For Museums

Museums are a place of wonder. They offer unique experiences for learning about history, other cultures, and the world around us. But a successful exhibition season requires more than putting objects in a room and waiting for crowds to arrive.

The best museum exhibitions enhance visitor experience through a carefully crafted blend of function and design. They communicate a story, perfectly framing a journey through time using both visual and virtual elements.

Here are our top 9 exhibit design fundamentals to keep audiences engaged and enthralled.

Carefully plan layout and visitor flow

Planning your layout involves careful consideration of your goals. Do you want visitors to view your exhibit pieces in a particular order? Or do you want them to roam freely?

Are there areas where certain groups of items will cause visitors to clump together, causing frustration and delays for others wanting to view the pieces?

Getting this right helps orient visitors within the experience, making it more enjoyable and educational… which means they’re more likely to recommend your exhibit to friends, and even perhaps visit again!

Storytelling elements to enhance visitor experience

Creating a narrative that follows some logical order not only helps your visitors move through your exhibit in an ordered and timely manner. Storytelling via your artifacts enhances the experience for your visitors, both from a learning and entertainment perspective.

Storytelling helps people feel connected to the part of art or history (or both) that you’re offering on display. You can use a variety of methods to enhance the narrative element of your display, including signage, graphics and murals, sounds, and even interactive tactile experiences.

Use superior display cases and mounts

Not only do your display materials protect your precious artifacts from damage, the right display cases greatly enhance the visual effect of items within your exhibit.

Displays such as the Frank showcase system are uniquely customisable, meaning it’s possible to create a wide variety of stunning displays using their easily assembled and demounted system. One system = endless creativity.

Frank systems offer:

  • Conservation-grade protection for artefacts
  • German-engineered modular base frame
  • Superior highly transparent panels
  • Easy flat storage capability
  • UV absorbency and LED lamp system
  • Flush extrusions
  • Custom graphic and lighting capability
  • An affordable option for the budget-conscious

Add graphic design to add story and life

Graphic design creates interest, flow, and focus, which are vital for bringing the exhibit to life. It can mean anything from labels, signs, and banners, to huge wall pieces and background murals.

The fonts, images, and other graphic layouts create a themed environment that enhances visitor experience. Instead of being casual observers, they become part of the story, immersed in the history of your artifacts.

Lighting should guide and enhance your design

Lighting doesn’t just help visitors see artefacts within your exhibit. Your lighting design adds to the beauty of your pieces, as well as helping to draw the eye and tell the story of each piece.

That being said, lighting can also be the enemy of many exhibits as it can have a degenerative effect on many materials. It’s important for your lamp system to be low heat, have adjustable light focus, be dimmable, and have a colour temperature of 3000K to 4000K.

Get professional help and advice

Clearly there’s a lot to consider when designing your museum exhibition. In fact, we’ve only just scratched the surface! Experts such as the team at POD Services can help you design and install world-class exhibition displays while saving you from common pitfalls that can cost you in terms of both damage to artefacts and lost visitors.

We have decades of combined experience in providing unique solutions including design, fabrication and installation to museum collections in both Australia and New Zealand. Our ‘Around the Object’ design focus ensures that artifacts remain protected when being stored, transported and displayed.

To discuss your goals for your next exhibition, call us on 03 9588 0436.

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