With its opening this month Poster House has become the first museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to posters. Through exhibitions, events, and publications, the museum presents a global view of posters from their earliest appearance in the late 1800s to their present-day use. The mission is to engage and educate all audiences through investigations of this large format graphic design and its public impact. To that end, design firm KASA has created four permanent interactive exhibitions intended to foster visitor engagement and learning on many sensory levels. Key to the project is the physical integration of the exhibits into the architecture.
Through a series of collaborative explorations, KASA determined the intended visitor experience for each exhibit before crafting the right solutions by using a combination of physical and digital methods. These include:
- Children’s Area — This blast from the past features New York City scenes from the 1960s. A coloring mural wall with magnetic posters, interactive vintage pay phones near a newsstand, and layering stations that explain how posters are made by overprinting cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks.
- Poster Wall — An oversized 4K screen displays larger-than-life posters. The screen showcases a grid of posters from the collection and automatically zooms into a random selection every few seconds. Visitors can also use a staged button to control the content, and museum staff can easily update and curate the collection through the system.
- Photo Booth — KASA created a green screen photo booth that is visible from the street and embedded into an alcove at the museum’s entrance. Visitors can place themselves in iconic posters using the custom interface we designed, and receive the final posters via email, text message, and printed.
- Poster Machine — Table-top interactive kiosks enable visitors to learn and experience the poster creation process. The exhibit deconstructs what goes through in a designer’s brain and creates a choose-your-own-adventure poster design game. Each step explains the significance and thought process of the basic ingredients required to make a poster — symbols, colors, phrases, fonts, and design styles.