CINCINNATI.- If you get lost at the Cincinnati Art Museum, just look for the orange asterisks. As part of an ongoing effort to enhance the visitor experience, the Cincinnati Art Museum will unveil a new signage system called Footnotes. Designed by the award-winning, international firm Pentagram and its Cincinnati-trained partner, Michael Bierut, Footnotes will couple a clever note of reference or explanation, a footnote, with an asterisk-like symbol to create a series of innovative signs displayed on baseboards throughout the Art Museum’s building. Visitors will find their way through the building using Footnotes starting July 20.
This one-of-a-kind way finding concept will assist visitors with navigation throughout the Art Museum, much like a traditional footnote would function in a document. Upon seeing the asterisk symbol on a particular wall, visitors will be visually guided to the baseboard below on which the footnote, an explanation or comment, will direct them to various areas such as a gallery or restroom.
The footnotes themselves use a light-hearted, but helpful tone throughout the Art Museum such as “Women’s Restroom. Fresh Flowers Included.”
“I love footnotes,” said Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. “A good one not only explains, but opens up new worlds in a text. Using the new signage Footnotes, we’re doing the same thing so that our visitors will find great art, find their way through the historic building - and learn something new on the way.”