Two of London’s highest profile museums and galleries, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Gallery, are in the early stages of a Holmes Wood revamp of their entire signage and wayfinding systems.
The consultancy has this week had its concepts for the V&A agreed. It is about to start work on prototypes and a strategy is being drawn up prior to implementation, says V&A head of major projects Gwyn Miles.
Holmes Wood is designing signs for every aspect of the museum, both internal and external. The signage is scheduled to be implemented at the end of the year, starting with the main entrance area. It is one of the first projects to have kicked off under head of design Moira Gemmill, who said when she joined a year ago that signage was her first priority (DW 29 November 2001).
Holmes Wood has also created a signage masterplan for the National Gallery and is currently working on signage for the Gallery’s East Wing. Phase one is due to be completed by April 2004 and the work includes an entrance and atrium on the ground floor.
According to National Gallery head of exhibitions Michael Wilson, the gallery is waiting for funding decisions, but it hopes to roll out the work ‘throughout the entire gallery’. The signage will be principally directional, including room names and numbers, but it will also encompass some informational aspects.
External signage may come under the group’s brief, but it is more complicated as bodies such as Westminster Council and English Heritage must be consulted, according to Wilson.