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Current work on view: “Letters With Wings” sneak peek at the National Postal Museum

28 Mar 2017

If you stop by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum during the next couple of months, you’ll be able to see two exhibitions that I’ve designed. One is New York City: A Portrait Through Stamp Art (on view through May 14; quick blog post here); the other just opened.

Beneath the museum’s escalators, in the Franklin Foyer, are two cases for temporary exhibitions. The museum intends to change these cases often with displays of recent acquisitions, favorite objects, niche subjects, and the like.


I created a design system for the museum’s in-house use when putting together these quick-and-small exhibitions, and I designed the first exhibition to use the system: a “sneak peek” of an upcoming exhibition about WWII airmail tentatively called Letters With Wings.



The design system included color palette, guidelines for layout of didactic and label graphics, sets of case furniture and graphic panels, and examples of case arrangements.



I also designed a series of banners and an “attract graphic” to brand the Franklin Foyer space. The attract graphic will be a geometric, cone-like acrylic structure with a changeable title panel; two will be installed in the open triangles of space between the artifact cases and the undersides of the escalators. (You can see the “open triangles of space” in the photos above.) They will protrude ever-so-slightly into the space, above head level, and draw visitors’ attention from the atrium space. They’re not currently installed, but I look forward to seeing them there in the future.


Back to the currently installed exhibition, Letters With Wings. There are no physical artifacts in either case so artifacts are represented as printed graphics. (Docents will occasionally bring out the real objects for visitors, while they also prepare them for the larger exhibition.) Still, the printed objects are mounted to sintra, which gives the graphic panels depth.



If you’re in the Washington, DC area, please check out this little exhibition, and New York Stamp Art too, while they’re still on view!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 05 Apr 2017 4:59 am

    Super clean design. I love the simplicity of this project. Well done

  2. 01 May 2017 6:48 am

    It’s great that you’ve taken the time to share your insights. A lot more goes into making the design neat and consistent. That’s what makes the exhibit more striking.

  3. 01 May 2017 11:09 am

    Thanks, Lee!

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