Summer 2015


Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this first-ever guide for families at the Oakland Museum of California was jointly conceived by stakeholders in every area of the institution; education, docents, programing, experience developers, curators, and marketing and communications. I served as the creative lead on the project.

Creative Direction  |  Identity  |  Iconography  |  Graphic Design



Six activities were identified in each of the three core galleries through which, per the grant, families of all different ages could engage in conversation, co-creation, and comprehension. During early brainstorming this was distilled into "think. talk. make. together." All three guides needed to function as an integrated set, and yet be easily understood individually.

There were several mandates at the onset from stakeholders: clarity, simplicity, consistency, and elegance. The three galleries were each assigned a key color which will likely factor into wayfinding design during a later phase.

Beginning with the cover design, a motif of circular image cropping reinforces the primary icon, a magnifying glass, that identifies the activities within the gallery spaces. Upon opening the piece to the introduction panel, the circle crop grows, "magnifying" the experience and inviting visitors to "look closer" during their time in the galleries. 

This was the first institutional piece of collateral to feature a new serif companion for the museum's primary typeface family, Benton Sans. Cabrito was developed especially for younger readers, with a larger x-height and softer forms, and conveys both a friendliness and a whimsy that was appropriate for the voice of the copy. Key visitor information is repeated on the back panel of every guide.

The circle crops continues on the interior panels. The tabbed core gallery title is retained from the cover.

Each core gallery map was simplified and redrawn from the original architectural floorplans.

Given the museum's primary audiences, the best format for this set was print. If future funding allows, the three guides can easily be ported to a mobile app experience, retaining the same level of content hierarchy, design, and overall finish.