Client, Year

Baltimore Museum of Industry, 
2019

Services

Signage
Wayfinding

Photography

Baltimore Museum of Industry

Employing hard-working type to do the heavy lifting

The Baltimore Museum of Industry was an incredible, underrated resource that sat relatively unknown in an old oyster cannery just south of the Inner Harbor. Ashton worked with the Maryland Historic Trust to create exterior signage across the museum’s five-acre campus that maximized its presence, celebrated its unique character, and met preservation requirements for its building’s original facade. 

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Previously, the museum lacked effective street-facing signage, making it easy for the public to miss. Using the building as a billboard, we turned to vintage images and lettering manuals to help create historically accurate, eye-catching signs. Their design immediately conveys the museum’s personality, and their hand-painted execution is authentic to the late 1800s, when the building was built.

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The turn-of-the-century photograph above was the main inspiration for our approach. Platt & Company was one of eighty canneries operating around Baltimore’s harbor in the 19th century. We adopted their large lettering, industrial letterforms, and high-contrast paint for maximum impact.

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One of the museum’s largest artifacts, a shipbuilding crane from 1942, was also put to work to help amplify the museum’s presence.

Towering over the museum at 104 feet, the “Whirley Crane” was one of dozens of cranes in the Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard that helped build over 500 Liberty and Victory ships during WWII.

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Above the museum’s main entrance, we created a flexible system of 20-foot banners to announce current exhibitions and further define the visitors’ entrance.

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PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

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PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

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