While at the Museum of Natural History yesterday with my family I came across this panel in one of the older rooms.
The letterforms here are so beautiful and original I couldn’t help myself, I had to get up close to look at each stroke and all the odd little touches within each letter . . .
Another thing I found was this lovely caption panel. While I had a great time reading names like, “Pink Encrusting Sponge” and “Venus Sea Fan” what I really liked is the way the information is organized here. This may look like a simple caption panel but I assure you it is not. First thing: Colors. On the back-lit, dark blue background the bright orange, yellow and white show up beautifully and reflect the fact that we’re talking about sea creatures here without being cliché about it. Second thing: Organization. Bright orange for main headers and numbers; bright yellow and all caps for each name with white, slightly smaller, italics for the Latin name. Third thing: Alignment. There are two columns here and they are both flush left with the numbers hanging. Both columns are different lengths and to best use the space the second column is not top aligned with the first column but it’s offset and a bit centered which looks organic and attractive while also solving the problem of having a big open space under the second column if the two columns were top aligned. Nice!
For all designers faced with what they might think is a boring list of captions look at this and be inspired, lists can be beautiful!