When the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus opened up their $16.1 million expansion late last year, it had a design treat for those trying to navigate their way around the nine-acre campus: wayfinding and signage from Denver design agency, ArtHouse Design.
ArtHouse Design Principal and Creative Director Marty Gregg, who is also AIGA Colorado’s vice president for chapter development, donated the agency’s time to create a simple, fun and recognizable wayfinding and signage motif for all ages: Etch A Sketch-inspired lines and shapes combining play, imagination and intellect to lead and direct guests through the museum.
“Our goal was to distinguish the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus from the cliché to engage both children and adults, and we were given a lot of flexibility to be creative and inventive,” said ArtHouse Project Lead Designer Zach Kotel. “The challenge was to tie together the museum’s new brand, new additions and expanded goals with beautiful, functional signage in a way that was honest, natural and comfortable.”
ArtHouse worked with local sign fabricator Ad Light + Sign, who also made an in-kind donation to the museum, to complete the project under tight budget and time constraints.
Highlights of the collaboration include:
- A 6-foot-tall, multi-color, metal, origami bird installed on the building’s exterior above the north entrance
- 12 restroom graphics with male and female robots direct-printed on vinyl and clear-coated for protection
- A supergraphic at the east entrance recognizing the Sturm Family Foundation’s donation to fund the school group entrance
- 10 wayfinding wall graphics to help visitors get around
- Five decorative and functional parking lot banners, as well as a changeable parking entry sign and two pole-mounted parking regulation signs for events
“I’ve always wanted to design a children’s museum, so the opportunity to co-lead this project was incredible,” said ArtHouse Project Lead Designer Evan Bethel. “I’m in this industry to help create a positive environment for our community. Through projects like this, we’re building relationships while subtly designing Denver.”
The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is located in downtown Denver at 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver, Colorado.
Hanging signage, routed metal blade signs and colorful robots incorporate an Etch-A-Sketch line motif to delineate bathrooms and wayfinding destinations at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Credit: Zach Kotel, ArtHouse Design
A stenciled supergraphic identifies the group entrance and recognizes a donation by the Sturm Family Foundation at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Credit: Brittany Sparks, ArtHouse Design
Wayfinding wall graphics add a decorative touch to functional signage and allow for a cohesive aesthetic throughout the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Credit: Brittany Sparks, ArtHouse Design
The 5’7″ x 5’0″ dimensional, metal, origami bird greets visitors at the main entrance of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Credit: Zach Kotel, ArtHouse Design