August 2017 Sign Builder Illustrated

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Designing a multi-sensory museum experience.



allery-style exhibits may still be in vogue at famous museums or prominent art shows, but gone are the days when smaller museums, zoos, and other visitor centers could rely on simple displays to entice a steady flow of visitors. Today it’s imperative to create dynamic experiences filled with vibrant sign panels, props, and interpretative displays. “People want a memorable, thematic experience. They don’t want to look at case after case of static artifacts,” says Samantha Osborne, marketing manager and senior graphic designer for Taylor Studios, a designer and fabricator of museum-quality exhibits. “People need a compelling reason to spend their leisure


Sign Builder Illustrated

August 2017

time at these facilities.” Based in Rantoul, Illinois, the awardwinning firm was founded in 1991 by Joe Taylor and Betty Brennan with a mission to create products and experiences that inspire people. With expertise in molding and casting reproductions where scientific and historical accuracy are paramount, Taylor Studios quickly became established in the artifact reproduction business and, soon after, expanded to their current focus on interpretive planning, exhibit design, and fabrication. In this thriving field, sign companies have an important role to play as intricate sign panels and custom displays are needed not only to provide backdrops

to the main display but also to enhance visitors’ experiences. Similar to the complexities of tradeshow exhibits, signage provides the framework and architecture upon which a seamless exhibit—and user experience—is built. As part of each exhibit project, Taylor Studios offers signage planning, design, and fabrication services. “Interpretive signage is often a big part of each exhibit project, whether it’s scenic, artifact-based, or entirely graphic-based,” says Osborne. “Sometimes the museum or facility has a visual identity already in place, and we build upon and/or complement that in our work. If they don’t have identity materials in place, we take that into consideration

Photo: Indiana State Museum.


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