MoPOP (Museum of Popular Culture)



Clean and clear wayfinding for one of Seattle’s biggest visitor attractions and one of its most confusing spaces.
Seattle, Washington
Principal: Kristine Matthews
Project Lead: Cassie Klingler
Designers: Mike Fretto, Ryan Phillips
Sam Cook

Though the colorful Frank Gehry-designed Museum of Pop Culture is easy to spot from the outside, it is extremely challenging for visitors to navigate once inside. The building has multiple entrances on different levels, no windows to help with orientation, and no consistency of internal spaces. To add to the confusion, the building was first designed to accommodate two different and separate attractions (Experience Museum Project and the Museum of Science Fiction), but these were later merged into one experience.

The old wayfinding required new graphics every time just one exhibit changed, adding to cost and complexity. We redesigned the system to incorporate a series of bands; one for each destination. This allows for individual exhibition titles to be swapped out as needed, while more ‘evergreen’ destinations remain. When testing different color options we found that with the colorful, busy interior, the colors that stood out best for the wayfinding were actually no colors at all, but rather black and white.