Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: Revitalizing the Visitor Experience

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has some phenomenal exhibits—an enormous dinosaur hall, a living butterfly pavilion, and one of the finest collections of gems and minerals in the world. Getting through the maze-like campus of buildings, however, was another story. So in the midst of a five-year renovation and expansion, we developed a signage system for the 100-year-old museum to improve the visitor experience.

The universal system spans interior and exterior, permanent and temporary applications, and consists of “photographic billboards” of provocative imagery and text that highlights museum collections and helps guide visitors from experience to experience. This vibrant, large-scale wayfinding signage incorporated flexible fabrication techniques and sustainable materials designed to give NHM staff the freedom to update the images or content separately or together, however they need to accommodate new exhibitions. In addition, our newly designed reception hall encompassing custom ticketing desks and digital information displays welcome visitors to the “new” museum.


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Carbone Smolan Agency combines content, technology, and art to create brand strategy and design systems for the physical and digital worlds

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