McWane Center — a dynamic children’s museum in downtown Birmingham, Ala. — celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2008 with the unveiling of a new name and a new look. Lorenc+Yoo created the original signage and graphic design program for the museum’s 2000 opening and was asked to revamp the signage when the museum changed its name to McWane Science Center.
Located in the former Loveman’s department store — a landmark building in downtown Birmingham — McWane Science Center features temporary and permanent exhibitions, including the Lorenc+Yoo-designed newsroom and domed IMAX theatre.
Due to the eclectic nature of the museum’s buildings, the signage program serves to unite the old and new spaces under a common modern-Art Deco theme. For the 2008 reopening, Lorenc+Yoo designed bolder signs at the entrances, using the same bright blue, red and yellow color palette instituted in the initial design. Although similar in character, the new signage is more playful than before. For example, the portal signage at the main entrance is best viewed in the evening, when a blue illumination creates an impressive halo effect around the words.
Lorenc+Yoo replaced static museum directories with interactive flat screen displays that showcase museum exhibits, preview IMAX movies and allow for up-to-the-minute event and seminar listings. The museum that showcases new technologies in its exhibitions now uses them to guide visitors every day.
McWane Science Center’s motto is “Adventures In Learning.” As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, there can be little doubt the museum will provide many more adventures for visitors in the years to come.