Darwin
Darwin
Darwin
Darwin
Darwin
Darwin
Darwin

Darwin

American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, 2005

Description

Darwin tells the story of both the life and the science of the 19th-century scientist and theoretician. It brings together artifacts and documents from throughout his life with a contemporary study of his science. The main challenge was to evoke the Victorian context of his life as well as to emphasize the continuing relevance of his science.

The graphic design focuses on the idea of “looking closely,” inspired by Darwin’s own magnifying glass, the first artifact of the exhibition. Graphics play with shifting scales, moving back and forth from macro to micro views. Large images are created of many smaller images: an orchid is composed of thousands of tiny birds, insects, reptiles and other animals; a wallpaper pattern is derived from beetles and terriers.

On the macro level, images are enlarged to the point of abstraction for case panels and wall banners. Because the photo budget was limited, these images were generated by simply scanning found objects. The London wallpaper literally disintegrates, evoking the corrosive effect of Darwin’s theories on the previously established order. Typography refers to 19th-century wood-type posters, as well as to elements of Victorian book design, with centered and curved elements and graphic flourishes.

Juror Notes

Great use of simple header and deck.
Artifact based.
Does well what exhibits are should be good at: presenting a lot of information in a clear way.
Feels contemporary; incorporates cultural elements without being corny.
Looks busy but not overwhelming. Overall, a very nice exhibit with a lot of nice bits.

Collections: AIGA 365: 27 (2006)
Discipline: Information design
Format: Exhibit, Signage
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