• Great Museum Exhibits

23 tips on how to design great Museum Exhibits

Part 2

As promised here is top tips list I didn’t get round to last time: 23 tips for producing engaging and great museum exhibits

  • Shopping list; Create a shopping list of what you have to offer the visitor & then priorities their importance.
  • Special factor: What’s going to make your museum / museum exhibit different from all the others?
  • Space available: Calculate the exhibit space you have available for each story line or exhibits, especially important for travelling exhibitions where the space and configuration of space will change from venue to venue.
  • Access: Provide DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) requirements for access into your building, galleries, museum exhibition spaces, facilities and all exhibits.
  • Design team: It is essential to have the right team working on the project, curators, conservation, museum designers lighting designers need to gel if something special is to be created. Our creative design team is uniquely able to provide both museum and lighting design.
  • Conservation: What conservation issues do you need to consider for each exhibit.
  • Flexibility: Build in a level of flexibility for the future, who knows how things might change.
  • Low tech interactives: Provides fun experience, doesn’t breakdown as often as high tech and due to the low cost allows more stations for people to interact at the same time. For more on this point see my earlier blog on low-tech vs high-tech.
  • High tech interactives: One of the most expensive elements but can be worth it if you have the budget, but certainly not essential if on a low budget.
  • Apps: Everything with Apps seems to be the case these days. How smartphone and iPhone friendly will your exhibition be? (read more about museum Apps)
  • Content: Provide varying levels of information to appeal to different audiences and school curriculum where possible.
  • Bring to life: Nothing beats a personal tour with a curator who tells you a little about each object as you pass by, however that’s not possible so you need to use other means to engage the visitor with the story lines.
  • Eye candy: As mentioned in (part 1 of this great museum exhibits blog) the information should be appealing to the eye, drawing the visitor in.
  • Curiosity factor: You can make the mundane look so much more appealing if you handle curiosity factor well, think of the launch of a new car when they show you a little corner detail before the big unveiling.
  • Size: Vary the size of each gallery or space to imply for example; importance, intimacy. This also helps the visitor breakdown the information provided.
  • Languages: Which languages will you provide?
  • Signage & path-finding: People need to be able to navigate easily, think about using colours and easy to remember symbols.
  • Lighting: There cannot be enough importance placed on good lighting design, it has the ability to make or destroy your whole project.
  • Visitor flow: Consider, do you want your visitors to be like mice in a maze and follow your set pattern or do you adopt the freedom to wander approach?
  • Ambient Noise: Control unwanted ambient noise with the choice of the right materials.
  • Eco: Consider all the impacts your exhibition will have on the environment and how you might reduce these. For extra Eco-friendly design tips you can read my top 10 sustainable design ideas.
  • Maintenance: How will your exhibition stand up to the rigors of life?
  • Security: Last but not least a very important part of the museum exhibit design process.

Top tips on how to produce great Museum Exhibition Design whatever the budget (Explore More)

About the Author:

Simon Morris is the director of the design firm Simon Morris Associates. Due to his work with museums and private collectors he is one of only two individuals globally that brings together this level of art + design experience. Simon Morris is a perfectionist who provides excellence in design and associate disciplines. Connect with Simon: Linkedin