Designing For an Exhibit

Right now I have a solo exhibit going on in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Since it’s in the large (thankfully heavily traveled) public library there, I not only have total control of how work is hung but also how all the supporting material looks.

Some of the 23 paintings included in my current exhibit.

Designing all the print materials that enhance the exhibit and give information to viewers, if done properly, is time consuming work. Stuff like a bio page, painting identification tags, wall signs, artist statements and business cards should look professional and be somewhat visually tied together.

No matter how good your art might be, blowing off this part of an exhibit, or rushing through it, screams out “amateur” to all who look at the finished exhibit.

Of all the pieces I designed for this particular exhibit, my new business cards took the most time. Business cards seem simple but, there are just so many choices and details in designing them that I wear myself out. Plus the fact that since I decided not to have a “sample sheet” for folks to take this time around, business cards are the only thing viewers can really take with them - and believe me, they do.

My old business cards used an image of one of my paintings which has since been sold, “Urn with Fruit”.

The old card with the sold painting.

In the new business cards I thought it would be cool to zoom in to show the texture in my paintings. I also decided to use several of my paintings, and cut the amount of copy on the card, while breaking a cardinal rule of graphic design - actually making the copy... (gulp) larger.

The end result is a varied collection of cards, with a more impactful look that keeps my typefaces consistent with various existing supporting materials.

My new business cards

Here's my favorite which I'll probably use in future exhibits:

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