Behind The Sign: How Do I Create A History Wall?
If you’re thinking or contemplating a history wall for your facility, you’re in the right place. We chatted with our Environmental Graphic Designer, Andrej Steinbergs, on “How to history wall” and we’re excited to share some questions to ask, and his expertise, with you.
How do I know a history wall is the right solution?
Developing a history wall can be a very daunting task and may not be the right solution for everyone. Here are a few questions to make sure a history wall is right for you.
Identify your “Who, What, and Why.”
- Why are you creating a history wall?
- Who will be the audience viewing this wall?
- What do you want your audience to learn/remember when they walk away?
The answers to these questions will be a great asset as you move forward in your history wall development. Knowing what you want your audience to remember is key, this will drive the design of the display and the organization of content.
I need a history wall, now what?
When you know, you know. If you’re confident a history wall is needed, here are some next steps to develop your story.
Create a chronological list of important events in your history and a rating system for these events.
- Rate each event as far as importance.
- Rate each event as far as content to support/tell the story of the event (photos, newspaper clippings, etc.)
You can’t show everything. Too much information can overload your audience and be a disaster to comprehend. This process will help narrow the scope of content that goes on the wall. Pictures say a million words, so if you don’t have supporting content for an event then you’ll want to re-evaluate sharing or find a way to tell the story a differently.
“Curating the appropriate content is one of the most daunting aspects for our clients,” says Steinbergs, “We can help, but ultimately we need to understand your audience, goals, history, and story in order to present it efficiently. Once we know your story, we can begin developing a template, where we will collaborate with you to see which designs feel the truest to your company. The more you participate in the design process, the more personable your company’s history wall will be.”
Hey Andrej, how do you make each history wall look unique?
"Often history walls have a similar look and feel. The earlier time periods will have a rustic look and will evolve to a more updated look for the later time periods. I try to break out of this traditional history wall look by incorporating new, or even unusual, materials that go beyond the “history wall” or “timeline” template. I like to add layered materials and lighting to bring more impact to the installation, making it jump off the wall and draw people in. My goal is to create a dynamic history wall that attracts your employees and visitors to learn more about your company."
What are some recent examples of historys wall you have designed?
At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute (UNMC MMI), Andrej designed a large-scale history wall. UNMC MMI had recently published “A Century of Caring,” a book highlighting their story and celebrating their centennial. This was the perfect resource to pull content and inspiration that hit exactly what they were looking for. Reading this book also helped determine the color palette and general aesthetic of the wall. Andrej added concealed LEDs around certain parts of the wall to add drama and dimension. The overall look of this wall is very impactful, don't you think? (image below)
For Carson Group, they wanted a dynamic way to share their legacy with everyone who walked into their headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. I was inspired by the Carson Group logo and the bold, dramatic look of their new building. I wanted to create a dimensional presence for impact so I deconstructed their logo and used its shape as the building blocks that protruded from the wall. Five pods were created, each highlighting a decade or major milestone. The angular shapes were also used to crop the photographic content on each pod. Translucent panels were used to carry verbiage and more photos.
I need help with our history wall, where do I go?
Our team is here to guide you through the entire design process or meet you where need us to.
Find your expert here to answer all your questions.
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