Our team of experienced interpreters begin thinking about the key concepts and themes that would be crucial to include in the exhibition or will interest specific audiences. We believe that storytelling is one of the most important factors in exhibition design – it’s the element that engages with our audiences, makes them feel emotion, fear, joy in the space or inspires them to think about the world around them. Our team engages with specific audiences using our skill for telling stories, layering the content in bite-size chunks and showing them that facts needn’t boring by presenting them in creative and exciting ways. When we strip it all back to basics, we are writers, novelists or scriptwriters disguised as designers.
Once the stories we want to tell are identified, it’s important that we move onto the design concept for the project. It takes careful consideration to fit a story into the allotted space within the exhibition. In addition, we consider the mood, the messages we want to deliver and the layout of the space so that we can create a world class visitor attraction for a client. We demonstrate the ideas that we’ve gathered by presenting thematic diagrams, mood boards, sketches and early computerised visuals related to the work to the client. Thematic diagrams help us to arrange the story line to suit the space and organise it in the most impactful way. Mood boards help us to express how we imagine a finished project will look and feel, as well as indicating what interpretation methods might be used in the space. Sketches and visuals help the client to picture how particular ideas could fit into the space provided.
3D Modelling & Visualisation
3D modelling helps us to use the space to maximum effect – Mather & Co has experienced 3D designers who can create impressive 3D models using computer software such as ‘Sketch up’ so that it gives a better understanding of how we imagine the space will be used. 3D modelling provides a virtual design of the space before construction begins, helping the clients visualise the structure of the exhibition. Finally, we take the 3D model image into Photoshop where it’s then brought to life. This process is called visualisation and is one of the most essential stages because it translates the designs and brings the exhibition to life.
It’s important to Mather & Co that not only do we create beautiful exhibitions, but we make them accessible to everyone. Human beings are unique, and all people with disabilities are unique individuals with individual requirements and impairment variation.
Our recent project for the National Paralympic Heritage Trust is a perfect example of a world-class project which tailors for those that have individual requirements. Deemed the most accessible museum in the UK, features include audio description throughout the museum, information which is written in large text and ‘plain English’ used for people with learning difficulties. Further, for someone who is visually impaired, the railings in the museum have a different materials to indicate when a visitor is moving into a new zone. This is unique and helps many people who visit the attraction. Finally, through use of AV, we incorporated British sign language into the museum to make it even more accessible to the public.
Graphic Design for exhibitions and experiences should visually communicate the themes and story lines to the visitor in an effective way. When creating graphics, they must work in tandem with the three-dimensional design of the space. Graphics play an integral part in creating the visual theatre of an exhibition, as well as delivering readability and legibility and being visually appealing. When creating an accessible experience, carefully considering colours, text size and height is crucial. ⠀
Essential skills are:⠀
- Layout and typography skills⠀
- Directional signage and wayfinding⠀
- Specialist knowledge of large format printing, materials and print methods