Museum Posters

Creating work to appeal to all the ages!

And a trip to Weston Park Museum (Sheffield)

Weston park is a museum of my own childhood, I often visited as I was always at Sheffield Children hospital which is across the road for my hearing, So it natural I picked this museum for this exercise. While I was there I spoke to an assistant told her about this exercise and ask for her recommendations, I found this very useful and very likely “saved” me a bit of time.
I walked around with a sketchbook, jotting ideas down and taking snaps with my phone camera, I looked for a common theme between the age groups, I found age 13-16 to be the hardest age group to link to an object, originally I was drawn to steel and knives / cutlery as that is being big from Sheffield, however, due to the issues with UK and stabbing crimes, so I felt wasn’t right to target anything that could be see as a weapon for teens at this time. I found a vase that I felt was just right, It seems like the next generation of art on a classic vase. I love this modern/urban take on “classical” art. For the age group 5-9 the museum is overflowing with ideas as it mostly targets young children.

I had a lot of idea’s which I explored mainly in my personal and course sketchbook and thoughts on the spot as I walked around the museum

Extant animals – I really liked the thumbnail design aimed at ages 5-9 and 13-16, I stopped myself going down this route as could end up with too similar designs for the up and coming packaging exercise.
Patterns. – Thought maybe using shapes throughout the design, based on the old bike penifaring, steelworks, Viking items.
Illustrations based on the wooden models – a different one for each one, style similar to Joe Scarebough and more anime/manga teens and detailed style for adults.
Illustrations based upon different parts of the Sheffield Joe Sharbough painting. – felt this would be too heavily influenced by one source and really could just use Joe work for the poster than get someone to “copy” parts.

As can you see like normal I’m not really stuck for ideas and areas which to explore!


Spider graph and a few of my notes

OCA museum posters 001

Mood / visual board for me to target each age group (including the “cross overs)

The hardest part of this exercise has to be getting this all out of my “head”. I was walking around, shooting back and forth between artifacts categorizing everything in different ways for the exercise, while documenting the images on my phone. I kept changing my mind (I tried to list most of the ideas above) I honestly had quite a few ideas and loads more I could have explored more!
In fact I was with a friend, I actually started to talk to her about my ideas, she let me and afterwards she had commented I was in a world of my own, clearly very visual (and didn’t make much sense to her) This is something I’ve never done and opened up my thought progress. Maybe it is writing in the learning log that means my visual thoughts are starting to find its own monologue. I was talking out loud about pairs / colour palettes how I could group and even angles for composition!

I’m thinking of a retro design in a traffic light colour theme.
And upon research into retro posters (Pinterest board), I was led to 1950s space / Solvent Russia designs, which could set the tone/colour palette. I want the same sort of awe that people of all ages felt in the wonder of the early days of space travel. Can I carry that feeling over to a museum poster?

The above Pinterest board starts with me finding in order posters that appeal to different age groups, finding common ground. I actually found posters can easily have an appeal to a vast age group!

Other sources of inspiration is the works of

Eric Comstock
I liked the layout Comstock uses, his colour palette and fonts.

I found interesting textures in the works of Ed J Brown, who has worked for Aquila, While I am not 100%sure that I want to add textures to the poster design yet. Never the less I wanted to include within my inspiration sources.

(above) Weston Park artwork created by Joe Scarborough

Wanting a deeper meaning understanding into creating posters, I needed to learn more, I found this skillshare class by Ellen Lupton
and also by Chip Kidd.

The three items I ended up picking while in the theme of “pairs” I planned to two the two snowy bears (original and the new) however I found a stronger link between my choices.

Child aged 5-9 Snowy the polar bear – generations of children from Sheffield know snowy as the polar bear (original and new) which has been around forever!
Teenager 13-16 Manor & castle (2016) stoneware by Emilie Taylor. The background view of Sky Edge (Sheffield) Said to be Giotto meets Banksy, I thought the modern/urban twist on traditional ceramics could appeal to teens.
General adult audience Women of Steel, (Marquette of the original that on display bankers pool) This celebrates the women of Sheffield that worked in the Sheffield Steel mills and factories during the wars. These without saying are very recognizable within the Sheffield adult audience, thinking also adding a touch of Joe Scarborough in the style with no face (so can remain quite simple)

Sketchbook Pages


Postcard of Snowy, explored colours/ideas (based on my photos / personal sketchbook)
(Ink / Watercolour markers, Oil pastels and posca pen)


My idea’s are starting to grow, started thumbnails, working out my options.


(above) thumbnail, sketches, spider-graph
Pretty much working out my choices and started the direction.
(explored using watercolour / Posca pens)


Here my idea’s are starting to grow, while was originally heading in direction of the polar bear as my final, when discovered the “Sheffield” link and dropped the 2nd bear I knew needed to take all three forward.
(Liquid watercolour / Posca pen)

I did a test page in acrylic, which wasn’t happy with as not quite the colour tones I had in mind. (right)

OCA - posters colour test

Colour Palette was important for this design to work, I first thought maybe a traffic light (Green, amber, red) but I ended up making more the primary colours blue, yellow and red. I thought as really wanted the posters to work together as a “family” the colours had to appeal to across the age group and primary colours are always a “safe” bet.
For contrast and to keep simple and bold I thought to have the objects white with the background as lines.
I took the colours from the first pinterest board (above) and came up with my colour scheme.

museum mock up small

While this was only meant to be a digital mock up, I think I like this technique and I’m getting the effect I like, so I changed my mind from acrylic to digital for the final.

While the handmade font was just intended just for this mock up placement test, I feel the poster design needs it to add visual interest, so I’m thinking this is another new route to explore with this, however I’m not sure how much I should work upon this, as on one hand I like the charm to it being imperfect!
But do I need it to be cleaner / crisp in order to work better as a poster?

museum poster mock up

I quickly created a mock up and I can now see that I really need to do more work, I will leave the 5-9 year olds as I like that is kind of childlike with the font…
But the teens and adults need a bit of rework, it is getting there, just needs to be a bit more tidy / balanced to work.

OCA - Posters young age group v2

(Above) Child – Main colour – Blue
Object – Snowy the polar bear.
Celebrating Sheffield
Created – Photoshop

OCA - poster teens v2

(Above) teen – Main colour – yellow
Object – stoneware.
Celebrating Sheffield
Created – Photoshop

OCA - poster Adults v2

(Above) adult – Main colour – red
Object – women of steel.
Celebrating Sheffield
Created – Photoshop

OCA poster museum mockup

I like the finished results, not sure if should be something more and some bits could be improved upon, such as the poster handmade fonts.
I wanted to keep the fonts as I think that add the “character” to the posters.

The posters do work individually but I feel the “wow” factor is when in a row together like my mock up. They was designed to be a family and complement each other, from the colours to the composition to work together.
Yet I’m hoping individual upon to appeal to their target age group!

Credits, references and research
with thanks for the poster mock up

2 thoughts on “Museum Posters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: