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The Top 7 Elements of Great Museum Exhibit Design

If you’re designing a museum exhibit, you understand the delight, inspiration, and awe museums bring. To create a memorable experience, it’s important that you implement great design and engaging exhibits to leave your visitors in awe and amazement!

No matter what exhibit you may be designing, we have suggestions for the top 7 elements to utilize in your next great museum experience.

#1: Visitor Personas

Before designing an eye-catching exhibit, it’s important to understand who your audience is and what they hope to gain from the experience. It may be helpful to create different personas for your visitors and identify their different personalities and desires. Each of your targeted audiences will have their own motivations for visiting your exhibition— try to understand the desires driving them!

#2: Timelines

Creating a linear path is a great way to chronologically order your exhibitions; just as history itself unfolded. Every part of the display should have a sense of time and place—especially historical displays! Mapping out your visitors’ trip through the museum can help to get a sense of the optimal placement for your exhibit.

#3: Details

Deciding the location is the easy part! Now it’s time to define the details of your exhibit space. Is it accessible to your visitors? Is there adequate electrical supply? Are the ceilings high enough? A valuable tool to use is a comprehensive site survey. This guide will help to note the locations of electrical outlets, as well as the height and width of the exhibition space.

#4: Design

With the right environment you can make your visitors feel as if they are active participants in history. A great way to create interest and enhance visitor engagement is with the use of graphic design. Signage and banners can transform your exhibit into a tangible piece of history. Consider also using interactive kiosks, video monitors, and digital displays to capture and hold the attention of your visitors and immerse them in the experience.

#5: Presentation

To begin with, make sure the items are visible to your visitors. For small artifacts, consider using good lighting and elevated platforms along with hanging banners or video screens. Mounting larger artifacts can offer a fresh perspective. The key is to not overcrowd your display so that each individual artifact can make an impact on its viewers.

#6: Storytelling

The artifacts on display should be more than lifeless—purposeless objects! Help your visitors feel like they are a part of history by telling a story with your exhibit. As humans, it’s the story behind historical artifacts and moments that help us feel connected to them.

#7: Accommodation

Each of your visitors will have different goals, interests and time constraints. Presenting the information in layers is a great way to make the most important information accessible, while providing ways for your visitors to dive deeper into the details. 

The most important information could be displayed with larger signs and brief presentations, while the detailed information may be displayed through longer textual descriptions. 

When you design the right museum exhibit, you create an engaging and informative experience for your visitors—that can tell stories for years to come.

For all your museum exhibit design needs, contact Design Display today!