Good museum writing is concise and interesting (like all good writing). It’s also layered like a newspaper article – headline, key points, more in depth information. In theory, there should be simple, conversational language, line breaks that reflect natural pauses and a single idea per line of text. The last two can be hard to achieve and maintain good flow, but used intelligently, they definitely help legibility.
But – what if it can work a bit harder than that?
I’m working on a project at the moment where we’re developing a range of different writing styles. There’s a lot of text to read in a museum sometimes. It doesn’t all have to take the kindly teacher’s tone of voice. Some layers of text could be poetic, conversational or even funny.
It’s not rocket science but it’s worth having a go at making it a good, varied and enriching read.