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Museum signage ideas...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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blackdog
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:27 am
Post subject: Museum signage ideas...

I figured this might be a good place to ask:

What do you guys like to see in museum vehicle display signage? What do you think the public likes to see in museum vehicle display signage? In your travels, has any particular signage stuck out as being exceptional (above and beyond most others)? And if so, can you post photos?

I'm trying to figure out how to do some relatively uniform looking signage for most of the vehicles on this page: www.themech.org/roster.html . We've been holding off on the signage for many years because I have found that a lot of the information published about these vehicles on the internet is incorrect, and I don't want to make signage that has any incorrect information since we're kind of an authoritative source being a USMC museum.

Thanks,

Brian
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:45 am
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Brian,

some equipment signage used at the Overloon museum, the Netherlands

Of the the museum's visited so far, I still like these best
Perhaps not all spelling is correct, however it's understandable for most visitors

old style sign, which only gives technical data
new%20style%20sign,%20which%20also%20give's%20some%20additonal%20info

Other signage I have seen is just 1 line of text saying what it is, for example "Windsor carrier"

Or signage of 1 or 2 book pages full of info with description, history, etc in 1 language only
Most of the time something you don't understand, except the first line saying that it is an "Windsor carrier" Wink

Michel

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:32 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Can be quite frustrating,

If the TM is available, by all means use the official info to avoid embarrassment. Basic info is a must, like type, weight, weapons, crew, etc. You can always write on the bottom "Further Detailed Information Available ...." , so you can refer to either a staff member, a book/guide, website, etc. This could cut down on a sign that appears too cluttered. Staff member could have a dossier handy to answer detailed questions, ie, particular vehicle history, SN, manufacturer, former units it served with, etc, whatever info is available, much like Trevor does with his site.

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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:20 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Certainly I prefer those signs where they tell you about the particular tank itself rather than just its type. I guess you do need to say "This is a Sherman. It fought in the war. They made lots." but I'm much more interested in "This M4A3 (serial number 5678) was manufactured by Fisher at Grand Blanc, Michigan, in 1943. It served during the war with 1st Armored Division in Germany. After the war it was used for training, and was acquired by this museum in 1980. It was restored over the next 5 years and is now displayed in the markings used by 1st Armored Division in the Ardennes" or something like that. I appreciate the information available may be limited, but as a rule the collection owners know more than they ever put on their signs.

I think it's also worth bearing in mind that many people visiting a military museum (and I imagine this is even more true in the US than in Europe) will have seen the same type of tank before, in other collections they've visited, so it's worth going beyond stating the obvious.

Nice collection, BTW. I visited and photographed the Pendleton collection in the 1990s and it's on my list to write up for PreservedTanks.com. You are lucky in having a good number of unusual or unique exhibits.

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:07 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

well, I have to admit that I don't read signs.. and I tend to move them when I want to do some pictures, because they don't fit with the result I want to obtain.

Anyway, what I would like to find on signs is the history of the vehicle. As Trevor said, it is very interesting to know when and where the tank was produced, the wartime history and the fate of the tank after the war. This is the sort of information you will not find identical in each museum ,because the history of tanks is, of course, different from a museum to another.

Maybe I have the same opinion than Trevor because we both try to find the history of the vehicles in order to publish them in our books/websites..

Pierre-Olivier

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L.Delsing
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

I agree with Trevor and Pierre Olivier.

Put the type on it with the basic info and then the history of that particular vehicle.

But also what Joe says, that the museum has detailed info about the vehicles. Some museums don't even know the history of their own vehicles!

Regards,
Lesley
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piney
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:16 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

I think a small image is useful. not all of your visitors will be as knowledgable as our forum members so you want to be sure the complete layman won't get confused about which vehicle is which, unless you are in the happy position of having so much room for displays that there is no possibility of confusion

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:45 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

On our display 'cheese board', we tend to use vehicle line art instead of a photo.

However in the museum most of the display signs have a photo of the vehicle 'in action'. (not the actual display vehicle).

Additionally the use of flags of the primary user/production country.

But I do like Trevors 'historic blurb' idea. It helps to put a period usage on the displayed vehicle. As much specific history as possible , if known.

Don
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:37 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Of course, our members will probably concur that the best solution is a bookrack with take-home pamphlets full of obscure data concerning what series of trackpads and air cleaner types the vehicle was equipped with.

Those Overloon signs look classy...and expensive!
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recceboy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:16 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

I liked Saumur's signage that featured a stand with a Panzer 4 track link as the base.

Anthony
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:17 pm
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Over the years, one thing that has frustrated me (although there are many others!), is displaying a later version of a vehicle with info about the earlier version. For example, an M4A3E8 with text discussing the original M4 in North Africa, without mentioning that the tank you are looking at actually appeared later in the war. It's a nit, but one that drives me nuts.

I do like the idea of telling the tale of the specific vehicle. A lot of people (like my wife) don't care that much about the technical details of virtually anything. Most folks will be interested in a story, though. A story turns the vehicle from a machine into a personality, especially if there is some adversity or interesting event. Cobra King is a good example of just that.

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:04 am
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

well, I think that anyway, people are more sensitive when you tell them a story (for example the story of the vehicle) rather than when you line up technical and sometimes boring data.

Another thing that may be added on such signs would be a technology that was developed on a vehicle (for example 45° armour plates on T-34) that allowed to have better protection, better armament etc.. and why it is better than what was produced before.

The last thing that seems very important to me is to have EXACT information on the signs. I remember having seen at Saumur an M3A3 Stuart, with a plate explaining it is an M5A1. Or a plate explaining that the vehicle is a T-54/55, and the tank was indeed a Type 59.

P-O

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Pzkpfw-e
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:39 am
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

I'd suggest that it's highly likely that we AFV enthusiasts' signage desires, differ quite a bit from Joe Publics'.
Having said that, Trevor's idea covers both bases pretty well.
I'd certainly expect more vehicle specific info about the likes of "Cobra King" and Bovingdon's Tiger, than a run of the mill M3 half track.
Having more information available, even if it's just a simple & inexpensive text only pamphlet or on a website, is desirable for us "anoraks".
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:39 am
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

Having a story is, of course, great, but most individual vehicles don't have a well-know story behind them. In that case you can build a story about the model/variant, not the specific vehicle.

Massimo
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:34 am
Post subject: Re: Museum signage ideas...

I had a thought about all this a while back and started to put a 'Commentary' button on the equipment pages on JED. The idea being that a sound file would be available for each equipment and more specifically for each vehicle in a museum/monument etc with a lot of audio information. It was mainly meant for iPhones & iPods through the iJED app but I suppose it could be readily adapted so the files could be downloaded to any smart-phone or player.

If anyone wants to produce a sound file about any vehicle in a museum their contribution would be gratefully received!

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