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Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic

Opening in 2013, EMP Museum’s Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic is an immersive and lush exhibit that explores the genre through fantastical artifacts, original manuscripts, iconic costumes, and hands-on interactive installations. For this project, I spearheaded the exhibit’s graphic/visual design including signage, data visualizations, interactive graphics, illustration art direction, and pattern design.

Curated by Jasen Emmons. Exhibit and interior design by Lead Pencil Studio. Logo lettering by Chelsea Wirtz. Photography by Carina Skrobecki.

The exhibit is organized into five realms: Roleplaying, Arcane Wizardry, World Building, Epic Artwork, and Light & Shadows. Each realm is heralded with a primary shield marking the entry to that realm. I designed each of the shields to have a unique shape, ornate pattern, and material substrate.

I worked with Belle and Wissell in designing and developing three rich interactive kiosks throughout the exhibit. The Wizard’s Table interactive is an ephemeral catalog of photos and video. The Map Making interactive allows for the custom creation of a fantasy world. And the Archetypes interactive investigates 20 different archetypes in fantasy with video, photos, and a quiz.

The exhibit explores 20 different archetypes in the fantasy genre. Characters from film, TV, and literature are mapped to these archetypes. Frodo from Lord of the Rings, for instance, is The Unlikely Hero (no. 14), and David Bowie’s character Jareth the Goblin King from The Labyrinth is The Trickster (no. 5). Each of the 20 archetypes have been craftily illustrated by Stacey Rozich into a distinctive set of maminals that were used within the exhibit as well as in marketing and retail efforts.

Various border ornamentation for on-screen graphics.

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