New Manchester Art Gallery signs

The Manchester Art Gallery is embarking on a strategy to improve communication and wayfinding throughout its premises, as part of plans to boost the overall visitor experience and better connect its buildings.

The gallery has appointed Holmes Wood to carry out the task, following a credentials pitch held last December.

It is the first project of its kind to take place since the gallery re-opened three years ago following a £35m refurbishment scheme.

Holmes Wood will look at ways to revise signage for both the interior and exterior of the gallery, exploring alternative ways of communicating and interacting with visitors.

Architect Michael Hopkins and Partners built an extension linking the gallery’s two buildings together as part of the redevelopment programme, however, the combination of spaces generated issues with signage and navigation in general. ‘Finding your way round was complicated,’ says kate Farmery, head of public services at the gallery. ‘This project gives additional layers to basic signage,’ she adds.

According to Alexandra Wood, project director at Holmes Wood, ‘Our approach is to keep signs to a minimum, while exploring alternative means of communicating with the visitor.’

The project will involve two stages and the consultancy is currently drawing up proposals, with a view to complete the project by March 2006.

Steers McGillan created the name and marketing material for the Manchester Art Gallery, formerly known as Manchester City Art Council. It launched on 1 October 2001 (DW 27 September 2001).

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