Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach / Edition 1

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Overview

Beverly Serrell presents the reader with excellent guidelines on the process of exhibit label planning, writing, design, and production. One of the museum field’s leading consultants and label writers, Serrell has expanded upon her earlier book, Making Exhibit Labels, which has been a standard in the field since its initial publication. Exhibit Labels provides ample information on the art of label writing for diverse audiences, and explores the theoretical and interpretive considerations of placing labels within an exhibition. An examination of the impact of technological advances on the label-making process is also included. Exhibit Labels is a vital reference tool for all museum professionals.
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Editorial Reviews

Curator
Serrell's book is full of good, sound advice, based on solid research and years of experience, presented clearly and interestingly.... Only someone extraordinarily passionate about creating effective communication between museums and visitors and who has worked for many years in all types of museums could have produced such a calm, simply-stated nonpartisan book on what one curator has called 'the great nemesis of museum life.'
— Bay Hallowell
Journal Of Interpretation Research
This book is not merely about choosing words to put on exhibit labels; it is about attracting, communicating, inspiring, and helping visitors get what they are seeking....Once you have read this book, it is impossible to ignore it. I find that Serrell's commentary comes to mind during all of my writing activities. One of the most notable qualities that gives the book its lingering nature is Serrell's personable voice throughout the text....This is an important text for anyone who is involved with the creation of exhibitions.
— Kirsten Ellenbogen, (King's College London)
Journal Of The International Zoo Educators Association
In this easy to read book, Serrell thoroughly shares her vast experience on label design by explaining all aspects to consider, not only from the designer's point of view, but also, and most importantly, from the sudience's perspective...From physical aspects such as space, layout, lighting and materials, to conceptual aspects such as objectives, ideas and messages, to finally human aspects focusing on visitors' expectations, backgrounds and learning styles, they are all part of this excellent step-by-step guide to designing and building successful exhibit labels...Perhaps the most valuable lesson in this book is the urgent need for a systematic evaluation of exhibit labels, before and after they are built...This is well received at a time when professionals involved in the field of environmental education are really questioning the effectiveness and impact of exhibit labels on the visiting public...Serrell's work illustrates how developing front-end, formative and summative evaluations offers a thorough process for adjusting the designer's ideas with the public expectations.
— Rosamira Guillen, Barranquilla Botanical and Zoological Foundation
Museum News
Clearly presented, flawlessly argued, and filled with both visual and verbal examples, I was most impressed by the layout. The book itself is a metaphor for the ideal exhibition about which all museum educators dream.
— James Scarborough
Curator - Bay Hallowell
Serrell's book is full of good, sound advice, based on solid research and years of experience, presented clearly and interestingly.... Only someone extraordinarily passionate about creating effective communication between museums and visitors and who has worked for many years in all types of museums could have produced such a calm, simply-stated nonpartisan book on what one curator has called 'the great nemesis of museum life.'
Journal Of Interpretation Research - Kirsten Ellenbogen
This book is not merely about choosing words to put on exhibit labels; it is about attracting, communicating, inspiring, and helping visitors get what they are seeking....Once you have read this book, it is impossible to ignore it. I find that Serrell's commentary comes to mind during all of my writing activities. One of the most notable qualities that gives the book its lingering nature is Serrell's personable voice throughout the text....This is an important text for anyone who is involved with the creation of exhibitions.
Journal Of The International Zoo Educators Association - Bipul Chakrabarty
Surely a masterpiece. The author has done a great job in explaining to the reader about creating interpretive signage, where words compensate for sensory experience...This book has filled the void that existed in the field of exhibit presentation in museums and zoos worldwide.
Journal Of The International Zoo Educators Association - Rosamira Guillen
In this easy to read book, Serrell thoroughly shares her vast experience on label design by explaining all aspects to consider, not only from the designer's point of view, but also, and most importantly, from the sudience's perspective...From physical aspects such as space, layout, lighting and materials, to conceptual aspects such as objectives, ideas and messages, to finally human aspects focusing on visitors' expectations, backgrounds and learning styles, they are all part of this excellent step-by-step guide to designing and building successful exhibit labels...Perhaps the most valuable lesson in this book is the urgent need for a systematic evaluation of exhibit labels, before and after they are built...This is well received at a time when professionals involved in the field of environmental education are really questioning the effectiveness and impact of exhibit labels on the visiting public...Serrell's work illustrates how developing front-end, formative and summative evaluations offers a thorough process for adjusting the designer's ideas with the public expectations.
Museum News - James Scarborough
Clearly presented, flawlessly argued, and filled with both visual and verbal examples, I was most impressed by the layout. The book itself is a metaphor for the ideal exhibition about which all museum educators dream.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761991069
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Serrell brings an unusual range of experience as a museum practitioner to Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach. Since 1979, she has been an exhibit and evaluation consultant with art, history, natural history, and science museums, as well as zoos and aquariums. Before then, she was head of a museum education department for eight years, and had shorter stints as a high school science teacher and a research lab technician. Serrell holds an MA in science teaching in informal settings and a BS in biology. In 1995, she was a guest scholar at The J. Paul Getty Museum. She has been a frequent museum visitor all her life.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Neil Postman
Preface
Introduction
Part 1: Overview
Chapter 1: Behind It All: A Big Idea
Chapter 2: What Are Interpretive Labels?
Chapter 3: Types of Labels in Exhibitions
Part 2: Considering the Audience
Chapter 4: Who Is the Audience (and What Do They Want)?
Chapter 5: Learning Styles
Chapter 6: Levels of Information and Modalities
Chapter 7: Writing Visitor-Friendly Labels
Chapter 8: Selecting the Right Reading Level
Chapter 9: Bilingual Labels
Chapter 10: Labels That Ask Questions
Part 3: Tasks
Chapter 11: Getting Started (and Getting It Done)
Chapter 12: The Number of Words
Chapter 13: Evaluation During Development
Chapter 14: Making Words and Images Work Together
Chapter 15: Labels for Interactive Exhibits
Chapter 16: Electronic Labels and Hypermedia
Chapter 17: Typographic Design
Chapter 18: Production and Fabrication
Chapter 19: Evaluation After Opening
Part 4: Summary
Ten Deadly Sins and 14 Helpful Research Findings
Glossary
Resource List
Bibliography
Figure Credits
Index
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