Signage System Research

Taking the feedback from our tutor about our summer show investigations and further explorations, one of the research response was to look into APFEL (A Practise For Everyday Life). First of all, great name!

The company is a leading example of designers whom work within art direction, identities, publications, exhibitions, type design, signage, packaging, and digital. They have an amazing range of clientele, and it was very hard to choose one piece of work by them. However, I did choose something that relates to the brief task of looking at exhibition signage and curation of an exhibition.

The Designs of the Year awards are an annual scheme held at the Design Museum to celebrate outstanding, innovative and progressive contributions to design across a broad spectrum of disciplines. For the 2012 Awards exhibition we worked with 3D designer Michael Marriott to create a flexible display system, which allowed changes to be made easily and at short notice as announcements were made throughout the course of the exhibition.

Our designs built upon the graphic lines of the existing Designs of the Year logotype, creating a signage system which could be altered by Design Museum staff; object labels were digitally printed onto beermat board to accommodate last-minute changes whilst giving a warm and modest feel. For the walls, we worked with the exhibition’s curators to design information graphics drawn from previous years’ data, contextualising and reinterpreting the awards and their history.

I was very much drawn to this particular exhibition, as at first, the main sign stood out at me.







A very striking red, contrast against the white wall. A very clear, perfectly formed typeface, easy to read and bold enough to see from a distance. All the information is laid out in perfect uniform to each other, sat upon fixed red strips. Each letter is printed on a separate card, so’s to be easily movable.

This theme is then carried on through out the exhibition.

I admire how the red and white flow throughout the signage; from wall to floor. Red text printed upon white card, which is sat upon little red stands to support the surrounding display. The signage, displayed directly onto the wall is a very considered display, as it then become part of the display, and a fix curated piece within the exhibition.

The entire exhibition looks as though it is very separate from the display and its signage. The signage really stand out by itself, contrasting against everything else (being red), which allows for the display and exhibits to not be distracted from the signage. The exhibition has been curated with a very natural appeal, such as woods, whites, an organic materials. The signage helps complement this buy not being to overpowering, and more of a display by itself to help the viewer navigate the display, and provide further information.




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