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Rethinking museum signage in the Covid-19 era
During the confinement we reflected on the role of public museums in the Covid-19 era, on how signage systems can question the meaning of social distancing, its connotations and the way bodies interact in public spaces. Based on this reflection, we have created a new signage system for CA2M, Second of May Art Centre Museum in Madrid.
When designing the signage system, the Murray team tried to answer the following questions:
How can we design Covid-19 signage systems that question the meaning of social distancing, its connotations and the way in which bodies interact in public spaces?
How can we steer clear of the imperative tone and the omnipresent separating stripes we have got so used to over the last few months?
How can we generate a friendly, caring, navigable and playful place which also makes us think?
The result of the new signage is a geometric modular system built with:
– two different fonts,
– two different materials,
– two axes of information: horizontal → walkthroughs; vertical → messages on paper.
The horizontal axis
The horizontal axis is created by a “playful game of open forms” that sets out the distance of 1.5 m, which also references the project set in place at CA2M during lockdown (#meterandahalf).
This geometric modular system is based on the glyphs of the two styles ofGalapagos(Dinamo), which “dismantled” in order to recompose a universe of forms and variations that outline paths, messages with guidelines for social distancing and a whole family of personalized icons.
The vertical axis
The second layer of communication comprises big messages on large format pieces of paper pasted over the museum’s vertical surfaces: columns, walls, staircases, etc.
For these large areas we opted for Plaak (205TF) because of its “elementary, clear and robust forms” which are then “softened” when applied in outline style.
The new signage system blends in seamlessly with the museum, creating a spatial language in the different walkthroughs which is not perceived as a barrier but helps to consolidate new perceptions and forms of relating with others, with the artworks and with the different spaces.