An Intern’s Journey; Chapter 6: It’s in the Details

Last week I got a bit of a break from writing social media and campaign plans and had the chance to play around with some graphic design. For the later half of the week I was tasked with creating mock-up designs for informational banners that we hope to hang around the parking lot next to Banting House National Historic Site and along Adelaide Street.

I have some previous experience working with graphic design, having worked at a trophy and apparel shop for a brief period as well as my work as a social media manager. Fortunately, a lot of these skills are easily transferable to the banners that I designed for Banting House.

The first thing I did was spend a few hours scouring through Google images and finding some banners that stuck out to me. I compiled a few of these banners and weighed the pros and cons of each banner (E.g. was the text too small? Do the colours clash? Is the museum/organization clearly identified?). Two of my favourite banners were of a First World War banner from Manitoba and from the North Carolina Museum of History.

North Carolina Museum of History
First World War banner

The consistency of the branding in the North Carolina Museum of History banner’s really stood out to me. One of the hashtags Banting House uses in social media posts is “Discover Our Story”. Taking inspiration from these banners, I used the “Discover Our Story” as a consistent element on all the banners. The First World War banner’s sleek design was the inspiration for the design and layout for the portrait banners (E.g. portrait of Dr. Banting in WWI and WWII). Now that we had decided on what elements worked well for banners, it was time to sit down and start creating!

One thing I learned very quickly during this process, was the importance of branding. Since Banting House is under the stewardship of Diabetes Canada, its important to follow those brand and visual identity guidelines. This includes: using the right font, colours, logos and formatting the items so that they are visually appealing.

Utilizing the web-based application Canva, I created my templates, uploaded the necessary colour hex codes and began to design! I did a few different designs utilizing different layouts, photos and elements. After discussing which versions looked the best and matched the branding and visual identity guidelines I created a few different templates that would allow me to quickly change out pictures and wording depending on what the banner was needed for!

While I am no were near finishing the banners, I am excited about the progress I have made so far! It’s a great experience being able to take all these prior skills and apply them in a museum setting!

My takeaways for the week:

  • Branding and consistency is important, it sets you apart from other museums and also emphasizes what your museum is about
  • Canva is a godsend and if you want to improve your graphics for social media or advertisement purposes, try it out! You won’t be disappointed!
  • I am absolutely in love with the Diabetes Canada blue colours (they’re so calming to look at!)

This post was written by Kat MacDonald, an intern at Banting House NHSC. Kat is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.

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