How Do You Do Not Touch? Here’s One Way of Making Labels and Signage to Help Visitors Understand

How Do You Do Not Touch? Here’s One Way of Making Labels and Signage to Help Visitors Understand

If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times; Visitors molesting the objects without a care in the world.  I’m sorry for the strong language here, but I can’t seem to get used to it after all these years, it’s so very frustrating.  We are charged with protecting and caring for these works not just furor lifetime, but for generations; we’re custodians for the objects and we do what we can.  Here are a couple of images from the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento California.  One illustrating how a completely reorganized permanent gallery has pushed the message more strongly.  Each and every label has a do not touch symbol, but they stopped short of using red in the universal symbol for “do not” and kept the colors to charcoal and black.  It’s subtle, but present and it avoids the issue where some objects have the special do not touch labels while others do not and visitors, some visitors, feel like they can touch the latter. Throughout this room and throughout the museum you’ll find these other “Touchy Subject” labels.  I’d be interested to know how many people actually read these labels and of those people how many of them stopped themselves from touching because of it.  But in the end, we put em up because if we reach one person and day, week, or moth, it’s that much better for the art.  What do you use in your museum?  Have you studies their efficacy? This image has three different combination of Black, Charcoal, and light grey.  We chose the second image down:

 

NEW Do Not Touch Label Samples

This image has three different combination of Black, Charcoal, and light grey. We chose the next image:

NEW Do Not Touch color scheme

Charcoal for the “do not” and Black for the finger.

NEW Do Not Touch Labels going into production

Here are the troops lined up on the board ready for production.

 

Matt Isble

I have more than seventeen years of professional development in the area of exhibit design and installation, working for a variety of institutions and private clientele from Carmel California to Portland Oregon. I received my masters degree in Museum Studies with an emphasis in education and interpretation from John F. Kennedy University. In my current capacity at the Crocker Art Museum I direct the exhibition design and work with both the curatorial and education departments to create engaging museum experiences for visitors. Specialties include: Exhibition design, project management, chief preparator, lighting design, volunteer coordination, and facilities management.



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