Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Design + Digital Department
Tattoo: An Exhibition delves into the 5,000-year history of tattooing practices around the world, including Polynesia, Japan, Thailand, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Africa, and other locations. The exhibition features over 200 tattoo-related objects: hand-poking and hand-tapping tools, a variety of electric machines, works on paper portraying tattoo designs, large-format photographs, wood and ceramic figurines, manuscripts, videos, and more. To convey the artistry of contemporary tattooing, there are sixteen life-size silicone body parts that have been tattooed by top tattoo artists from around the world. Toward the end of the exhibition visitors will see artifacts and videos related to the history of tattoo in Los Angeles, as well as view a fully operational tattoo parlor.
Our task was to create an identity that was nimble while containing the flexibility to enable the marketing team to target a wide audience range while reinforcing the core message of "history, culture, and art connected ink". The visual approach was asked to drive old and new audiences, slightly edgy, genuine, and complimentary to the overall tone of the exhibition.
In order to achieve both historical point of view and modernity we established systems that allowed specific visual outputs to target its respective audiences. For younger audiences the approach was "less is more" by utilizing a singular visual to create awareness and curiosity as our research identified that this demographic was more investigative. For older/general audiences the approach was to utilize visuals from the driving messaging, "history, culture, and art connected by ink", in order to create a better understanding of the content within the exhibition. This strategy was important to establish clarity around this exhibition not only being an art show, photography exhibition or an exhibit that only showcased historical artifacts but that it contained all of these attributes.
The exhibition is still going on but so far it has proven to be a large success by attracting visitors who are not typically within our demographic, establishing new partnership with local artists and reintroducing the Natural History Museum to the local community under a new light.