National Technical Museum
Dissertation work, 2017
Preview of my dissertation work, where I decided to redesign National Technical Museum in Prague, which is one of the biggest institutions in Czech Republic and place, which has deep connection to our rich technical history.
I decided to redesign the museum for two simple reasons. One being, that NTM was and still is one my favourite museums, where I always liked to go, when I was younger and two, because I felt, that compared to other state institutions, the NTM currently lacks the prestige and renomé it maybe should have - at least not in my eyes.
Current visual style hasn't changed in quite some time, even though there were some attempts to redesign it both from other designers and institution itself. None of them were sadly realised.
Museum's logo is still very nice in its own right, but the overall style, that has been used by the museum lacks modularity and boldness of what institution like this could have.
I decided to try to take a look at the overall strategy of the museum and came up with something, that could at least start a discussion about, where the museum could go from here.
See more print work on D92 Studio:
My goal with this project was to came up with new visual style, that would honor and represent the museum better, but also inspire people to get to know our history and take more interest in technical and scientific disciplines.
I created series of visual guidelines, that tackle both printed and digital parts of the project and unify the design language to one cohesive style. I wanted to design something, that would be bold, provocative and modular, but still deeply rooted in Czech and Czechoslovakian history, which is still very significant to the world.
I first started with extensive research, which meant to write down all the characteristics, that I could use in order to catch a feel of what I want the identity to look. That meant many different versions of moodboards, which also gave me a lot of ideas on what is overused and already done.
The characteristics I picked were: tradition, diversity, quality, accessibility and uniqness, which I further translated to set of lures for the visitors.
1) Tradition since 1908
2) 14 quality expositions
4) Architecture of the building
5) Museum location
First task I gave myself to, was to pick typefaces, that would work in both print and digital and that would give the museum its distinguished look. I also wanted to style to be very typographic based and modular, so it would be usable no matter the media or situation.
After weeks of searching, I discovered three typefaces, that I liked together - Sailec, Kreuz Extended and Knifer, which I thought were good match for each other and also represented different aspects of the museum.
I also decided to use elements like 1908 (date of establishment) and 14 (number of expositions), because they both mean and show different statistics about the museum, but also tell a bit more story, than the logo itself.
Posters were first medium, where I tried this new direction and where I continue to develop other parts of the visual identity.
Main purpose of the poster was to show the new visual style of the museum, posters that would show off different exhibitions inside the museum and more abstract posters, that could be used once the people already seen most of the previous versions.
I played with different combinations of content before settling on using sets of many different photos and illustrations, that would color the posters and create the overall style.
The visual identity itself is not using any other colours except for black and white, which meant that there is plenty space for the actual photography to be visible.
Here are some of the examples of different layouts:
Another important part about the new design was to show, how to use the new elements for everything that National technical museum is currently offering.
That meant redesigning books, maps, guides, orientational systems and other print based parts of the current identity, which need to be unified. I was also planning to take a look at how are the current exhibitions stylistically aligned, but in the end decided not to focus on this issue for now, even if my solutions could be applicable as well.
The examples below are using the similar system as the posters, but further developing them to better suit each of its purpose.
They range from book layouts, newspapers and guides to maps and postcards with different motives.
I also spent lot of time thinking about how to bridge and present the overall design to visitors and how to make them more interested in new visual style and museum itself. I came up with web-based poster generator, that would enable visitors to create their own versions of the posters and show them inside the museum on interactive screens.
For this case I designed different layout mockups, where you could change the look of it, just by changing the pictures and its sizes.
Inside the building is another great place, where we can create totally different experience and utilize the latest technologies. NTM itself is using many TV screens in many places on every floor, which gave me an idea, how to develop this system further.
I decided to take a look at how these screens could function and what could they possibly show in order to be more helpful to both local and foreigners. As you can see in examples above and below, the screen is great place, where you can store different informations in more effective way and keep it relevant to different situations.
Project itself was valuable lesson as I learned how to work with big brand and learned me how to think about all kinds of solutions for different problems that can occur during the process.
I hope this project can yield great new discussions about state of National technical museum and would be great place to start the new conversation.