Ohio Farm Bureau tasked EducationProjects.org to deliver a cohesive experience at the Ohio State Fair that would transform the way 140,000 visitors see Ohio’s modern agriculture industry. In the past, participants and sponsors brought tradeshow-style banners and set up in designated areas of the 40,600-square-foot building.
For the 2019 redesign, we sorted through the participant activities, added educational programming, and brought the experience together with a an environmental design system encompassing backdrops, wayfinding, permanent hand-painted murals, and a large sculptural assemblage. The design focused on helping fairgoers understand how farmers care for animals and the environment through advanced technology, and the impact that has on Ohio’s food supply.
As a result, Ohio’s farmers and the agriculture community were presented as fresh, contemporary, and accessible to an urban audience. Wayfinding and content area signage were provided to direct, inform, and excite visitors. Messages were reinforced through both atmospheric graphic wall-hangings and large “Did you know?” signs placed in the four major content areas. Vivid wall-to-wall color and engaging, simplified imagery mask grimy, problematic surfaces of the 100-year-old host building. Over 500 visitors were surveyed and the results were increased understanding of the agriculture industry and an enjoyable experience.
The variable font Obviously (OH no Type Co.) provided a strong typographic backbone to the project, instantly imparting the contemporary and slightly playful voice that was needed. The playful contours of Obviously coordinated well with the cut-paper illustrative style and strong colors. Obviously Narrow Black was used for small-scale wayfinding. Large-scale applications of Obviously (on wall coverings and pole banners) made heavy use of the variable technology: words were made as wide and heavy as possible while maintaining legibility.
Body copy, where it appears infrequently, is set in OH no’s Covik Sans.