Red Panda Forest at the Detroit Zoo
DESIGN PROCESS: Organizing the information
We designed the graphics for the new Holtzman Wildlife Foundation: Red Panda Forest at the Detroit Zoo. The stars are the red pandas, and we wanted to make sure the visitors had all the information they needed to enhance their experience with these adorable animals.
Designing graphics for zoos and museums is a complex process. We often collaborate with our clients to take the raw content, that they’ve developed, and help shape it into an organized graphic hierarchy. We want to be sure that the most important information is laid out to be prominent and eye-catching, and that there is a consistent graphic system throughout the exhibit. We find that this process helps our clients to understand their own content better, and to think about it in new ways. There are often many iterations on the content as we work on the design.
design process: graphic hierarchy and layout
We sketched out rough layouts to see how the graphic hierarchy would work and how design details could play off of one another. Each graphic discusses the red pandas and how they compare to other animals. It was a challenge to make sure that the red panda information was the primary focus while still providing enough content about the other animals to make meaningful comparisons.
Below you’ll see examples of the sketches and the corresponding final graphics. You’ll see that some didn’t change much from their initial sketch, while others are very different. On the habitat/range example in particular, you’ll see that we decided not to do a big map on the graphic – because we realized that it gave too much prominence to this geographic location data — specifically to the animals that have a larger range (the red fox and the raccoon). The red panda is actually more important than the other animals in the hierarchy, even though it has the smallest geographic range! These are things that we don’t realize sometimes until we sketch it out.