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How to Build An Exhibit Pt. 1: The Banner

August 05, 2022

Notes from our 2022 Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar, Alex Ang

These last few weeks, I have been focused on putting together the banner for the exhibit at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) Visitor Center. Much to my chagrin, this process was actually a lot harder than I anticipated. As my first time designing a banner for an exhibit, I faced many challenges along the way. I had to make sure the design accommodated both the written content and the images. My experience with graphic design for social media only got me so far, and I had to apply most of those skills to a new audience. When people are reading a banner in person at an exhibit, they will generally spend more time reading than they would scrolling through a social media post. That gave me some relief because I knew I could afford a little more space for text.

One obstacle that I didn’t consider was the flow of the banner. In my original design, I didn’t think about the direction in which patrons would read the banner (from left to right). My mentors have been instrumental in providing edits to the design. It is crucial to include the perspectives of others as everyone reads a banner differently. There are so many things I didn’t consider when I started, like the size of the font or the exact color of the background.

(Left) An early sketch of the banner, (Right) An early mockup of the banner with no content. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
(Left) An early sketch of the banner, (Right) An early mockup of the banner with no content. Credit: NOAA Fisheries


The exhibit is meant to complement the neighboring NOAA Timeline Banner, so that was also something I kept in mind for the design. The banner had to look like it was designed by the same person. No pressure.

As my program approaches its last few weeks, I look forward to finishing the banner and polishing the website for the touch table. Follow us on Instagram @zoop_troupe to stay updated with my latest progress!

Previous: Collaboration Is Key Next: How to Build An Exhibit Pt. 2: The Interactive Touchtable

Last updated by Northwest Fisheries Science Center on August 24, 2022